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When the State Trembled: How A. J. Andrews and the Citizens’ Committee Broke the Winnipeg General Strike

by Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell

The University of Toronto Press
September 2010

ISBN 978-1-44261-116-0
$35.00 (paper)

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, which involved approximately 30,000 workers, is Canada’s best-known strike. When the State Trembled recovers the hitherto untold story of the Citizens’ Committee of 1000, formed by Winnipeg’s business elite in order to crush the revolt and sustain the status quo.

This account, by the authors of the award-winning Walk Towards the Gallows, reveals that the Citizens drew upon and extended a wide repertoire of anti-labour tactics to undermine working-class unity, battle for the hearts and minds of the middle class, and stigmatize the general strike as a criminal action. Newly discovered correspondence between leading Citizen lawyer A. J. Andrews and Acting Minister of Justice Arthur Meighen illuminates the strategizing and cooperation that took place between the state and the Citizens. While the strike’s break was a crushing defeat for the labour movement, the later prosecution of its leaders on charges of sedition reveals abiding fears of radicalism and continuing struggles between capital and labour on the terrain of politics and law.


University of Toronto Press invites you to join us as we celebrate the launch of When the State Trembled: How A. J. Andrews and the Citizens’ Committee Broke the Winnipeg General Strike:

Friday, 1 October 2010, 7:00 PM
McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg

The event will take place in the Atrium located in the northwest corner of the store.


Chapter 1: Permitted by Authority of the Strike Committee

Chapter 2: Who? Who? Who-oo?

Chapter 3: Seven Hundred and Four Years Ago at Runnymede

Chapter 4: The Anointing of A. J. Andrews

Chapter 5: The Flag-Flapping Stage

Chapter 6: To Reach the Leaders in this Revolutionary Movement

Chapter 7: Time to Act

Chapter 8: Enough Evidence to Convict the Whole Strike Committee

Chapter 9: The Road through Bloody Saturday

Chapter 10: The Only Way to Deal with Bolshevism

Chapter 11: They are all dangerous: Immigration Hearings

Chapter 12: They Started the Fire: Preliminary Hearing

Chapter 13: Poor Harry Daskaluk

Chapter 14: Duty to God, Country, and Family: the Russell Trial

Epilogue: Echo

Books on Manitoba History

Posted: 17 September 2010

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