SFU labour historian Mark Leier of North Vancouver is the province's expert on the Wobblies--the Industrial Workers of the World--created in 1905 in Chicago as a revolutionary force for industrialized workers. Active in B.C. as early as 1906, the Wobblies led a strike of 8,000 railway workers in 1912 in response to dreadful working conditions and exploitation. Leier has written Where the Fraser River Flows: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia (New Star, 1990), as well as a labour biography entitled Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden [See below] and Red Flags and Red Tape: The Making of a Labour Bureaucracy (University of Toronto Press, 1995).

Also an editor of Labour/Le Travail, Leier has edited and introduced a perceptive summary of B.C.'s racial politics by Saturday Night journalist Agnes C. Laut from 1912, Am I My Brother's Keeper? A Study of British Columbia's Labour & Oriental Problems (Subway Books, 2003). Born in Ontario and educated in Manitoba, Laut (1871-1936) was a popular historian who was a reporter on the Manitoba Free Press prior to emigration to the U.S. She wrote a variety of books on subjects such as the Hudson's Bay Company and the Sante Fe Trail.

As an associate professor in SFU's department of history and the director of SFU's centre for labour studies, Leier has examined the life and ideas of "anarchism's first major thinker" in the biography Bakunin: The Creative Passion (St. Martin's Press, 2006) [See below]. "After 9/11," Leier says, "[Mikhail] Bakunin was explicitly singled out as the original theorist of terrorist violence by all kinds of pundits and analysts. It was pretty clear that they didn't understand anarchism or Bakunin, and so the book became a project to set the record straight."

ALSO: Also: On two nights in a row, an unconventional, graphic-novel styled educational book won two of the country's top awards for history. On May 29, 2017, in Ottawa, the Canadian Historical Association's Public History Prize went to the collaboratively created Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle! edited by the Graphic History Collective with Paul Buhle (Between the Lines $9.95). The previous night, in Toronto, the publishers were awarded the $10,000 Wilson Prize, sponsored by the Wilson Institute for Canadian History (McMaster University). The first award presented to the book's editors, the Graphic History Collective, "recognizes work that achieves high standards of original research, scholarship, and presentation; brings an innovative public history contribution to its audience; and serves as a model for future work, advancing the field of public history in Canada."; The Wilson Prize goes annually to the best book that "succeeds in making Canadian historical scholarship accessible to a wide and transnational audience". B.C. contributors include Kara Sievewright, Sam Bradd, Robin Folvik, David Lester, Mark Leier, Tania Willard, Dale McCartney, and Ron Verzuh. Visit graphichistorycollective.com

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden, Revolutionary Mystic, Labour Spy
Red Flags & Red Tape: The Making of a Labour Bureaucracy


BOOKS:

May Day: A Graphic History of Protest (Between the Lines, 2012) $6.95 978-1 926662-90-9. By Mark Leier with Robin Folvik, Sean Carleton, and illustrations by Sam Bradd and Trevor McKilligan.
Bakunin: The Creative Passion (St. Martin's Press, 2006). $25.95 U.S. Hardcover; also Thomas Dunne Books, ISBN: 0-312-30538-9.
Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden (New Star, 1999; revised and reprinted 2013).
Red Flags and Red Tape: The Making of a Labour Bureaucracy (University of Toronto Press, 1995).
Where the Fraser River Flows: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia (New Star, 1990)

ALSO:

Agnes C. Laut from 1912, Am I My Brother's Keeper? A Study of British Columbia's Labour & Oriental Problems (Subway Books, 2003). Edited by Mark Leier.

"Dissent, Democracy, and Discipline: The Case of Kuzych v. White, et al.";. Appears in Work on Trial: Canadian Labour Law Struggles. (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2010).

[BCBW 2013]