Radforth, Ian 1952- (Ian Walter Radforth)
Radforth, Ian 1952- (Ian Walter Radforth)
Office—Department of History, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George St., Rm. 2074, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3, Canada. E-mail—[email protected].
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, professor of history.
Bushworkers and Bosses: Logging in Northern Ontario, 1900-1980, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1987.
(Editor, with Laurel Sefton MacDowell) Canadian Working Class History: Selected Readings, Canadian Scholars' Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992, 3rd edition, 2006.
(Editor, with Allan Greer) Colonial Leviathan: State Formation in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Canada, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992.
Contributor to works by others, including A Nation of Immigrants, edited by Franca Iacovetta, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998; and Enemies Within: Italian and Other Internees in Canada and Abroad, edited by Franca Iacovetta, Roberto Perin, and Angelo Principe, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000. Contributor to periodicals, including Canadian Historical Review.
Ian Radforth is a professor of history who specialized in labor history, including, according to his profile on the Web site of the University of Toronto, "in the field of ‘the new social history’ with its agenda of doing history from the bottom up and deploying the analytical categories of class, race/ethnicity, and gender. His research focused on the everyday lives and work experiences of the men who lived in bush camps and who worked in northern Ontario's forest industry. It dealt with issues relating to transiency, male bonding, technological change, ethnic radicalism, and class conflict." Radforth is the author of Bushworkers and Bosses: Logging in Northern Ontario, 1900-1980, which covers nearly a century of this industry. Radforth has taught classes in labor and immigration history and has served as the representative of the history department's Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies Program Committee.
Radforth is the editor, with Allan Greer, of Colonial Leviathan: State Formation in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Canada, a collection of essays that study state formation and the evolution of government and citizenship, particularly in Victorian Canada. Shirley Tillotson, who reviewed the volume in the Urban History Review, commented that it "has less to say about the local state than about higher levels of government and public administration. Admittedly, in Radforth's article on Lord Sydenham's reforms, the apparatus of local government is assigned its proper importance among the administrative innovations of the 1840s…. As the editors point out, however, stimulation rather than comprehensiveness was their object. And undoubtedly, urban historians will find much that is suggestive in this nicely assorted sampling of recent historical writing on state formation between 1830 and 1870."
Royal Spectacle: The 1860 Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States documents the travels of the then eighteen-year-old Albert Edward, or "Bertie," later to become King Edward VII, to North America, a goodwill mission arranged by his mother, Queen Victoria. Historian contributor Marsh Wilkinson Jones commented that Radforth "shows that royal populism was on the increase, and discloses Canada's ongoing loyalty to the crown and America's ongoing fascination with anything crowned." Bertie's visit to what was then the Province of Canada and pre-Civil War United States was a media event with newspapers in Canada being enthusiastic and supportive of the visit, while some in the United States showed less reverence. Radforth opens with a chapter on the tour's background, including the arrangements, itinerary, and entourage. He then describes the actual tour and describes how in Canada, Bertie was feted at openings, inaugurations, and other celebratory events. The inauguration of the Victoria Bridge in Montreal was in part the reason for his visit at that particular time, and he laid a foundation stone of the new Ottawa Parliament buildings and dedicated parks, exhibitions, and public works projects. Much of the display was created with the purpose of demonstrating the desirability of towns and cities that were hoping to attract investment and development.
Radforth uses a technique known as "incident history." "This," noted Roger Hall in Ontario History, "is not an entirely new way of looking at the past, but it is a fashionable one and a convincing and convenient way of using a single event (in this case the Royal Tour) as a lens to view an evolving society in sharp detail and with much telling incident. At this, the author is superior. His research is utterly prodigious and a glance at his sources reveals that he has tirelessly searched out every imaginable detail of the events surrounding the Prince's time in North America."
Del Muise reviewed Royal Spectacle in the Urban History Review, noting that because most of the events described take place in urban spaces, it may be of special interest to urban historians. "There is much else in the discussion to tempt urbanists, including an interesting discussion of the role and place of native people, so often at the edge of the urban environment but foregrounded in many celebrations to demonstrate the exotic nature of North America. Tensions between the Orange Order and the Duke of Newcastle, who refused to allow Irish politics any play in the occasion, are prominently discussed." Muise also noted that the visit by the prince "offers some fresh insight into the emergence of the tourist craze that was about to swamp North America."
President Buchanan had initiated the tour with his invitation to visit the United States, and while there, the prince traveled incognito as the Duke of Renfrew, which was not necessary as he was known everywhere he went, which included New York, Boston, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Six horses drew his carriage down Broadway in New York, and while at Harvard, he met with the last survivor of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The prince planted a chestnut tree near George Washington's grave while meeting with Buchanan.
Frank Prochaska noted in Victorian Studies: "The tensions between the northern and southern states over slavery that bedevilled relations between Britain and America were never far from the surface during the Prince's visit. But the mainstream press, which preferred to take a positive line, largely ignored them, as it did the Irish protesters." Prochaska called the book "an admirable, scholarly addition to the burgeoning literature on national identity and royal pageantry."
Radforth and coeditor Laurel Sefton MacDowell, who is also on the faculty of the University of Toronto, have twice revised Canadian Working Class History: Selected Readings, and the most recent edition is an up-to-date version of the volume that offers both classic and more recent scholarship on the history, politics, and social groups of the working class in Canada. The latest edition includes more writing by female scholars and new articles on women's equality, gender history, human rights, racism, Quebec sovereignty, and the environment.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 1990, review of Bushworkers and Bosses: Logging in Northern Ontario, 1900-1980, p. 948; April, 2006, John Plunkett, review of Royal Spectacle: The 1860 Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States, p. 461.
American Review of Canadian Studies, spring, 1989, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 117.
Beaver: Exploring Canada's History, December, 2005, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 49.
Canadian Geographic, August, 1988, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 84.
Canadian Historical Review, March, 2006, Alan Gordon, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 116.
Canadian Literature, September 22, 1993, Bryan N.S. Gooch, review of Colonial Leviathan: State Formation in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Canada, p. 120.
Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, August, 1989, Barnett Richling, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 696.
CM Magazine, September, 1988, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 176.
Historian, fall, 2006, Marsh Wilkinson Jones, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 642.
History Magazine, April 1, 2005, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 52.
Journal of Economic History, March, 1989, Michael Huberman, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 251.
Labour/Le Travail, spring, 1993, review of Colonial Leviathan, p. 365.
Ontario History, spring, 2005, Roger Hall, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 112.
Probe Post, fall, 1988, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 36.
Queen's Quarterly, spring, 1989, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 164.
Reference & Research Book News, May, 2005, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 79.
Social History, January, 1994, Andrew Holman, review of Colonial Leviathan, p. 118.
Technology and Culture, October, 1988, James P. Hull, review of Bushworkers and Bosses, p. 921.
Urban History Review, October, 1993, Shirley Tillotson, review of Colonial Leviathan, p. 55; spring, 2006, Del Muise, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 62.
Victorian Studies, autumn, 2005, Frank Prochaska, review of Royal Spectacle, p. 164.
University of Toronto Web site,http://www.utoronto.ca/ (January 17, 2005), Michah Rynor, review of Royal Spectacle; (April 20, 2008), author profile.