Social Criticism

The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice and Other Essays
by Stephen Leacock
rrp $38.55

Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

Series: Heritage

Publication Date: August 13, 2018

ISBN: 9781487586331

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Stephen Leacock, long celebrated as Canada's foremost humorist and social satirist, has received little recognition for his considerable accomplishments as a serious thinker and social critic. In fact, Leacock was a professor of political economy, and more than half of his writings addressed the pressing issues of his day. This volume represents the neglected aspect of Leacock's career, gathering together his writings on a range of subjects, including imperialism, education and culture, religion and morality, feminism, prohibition, and social justice.
The collection begins with 'Greater Canada: an appeal,' which dates from 1907, when Leacock was a popular lecturer advancing the cause of imperialism. Bowker points out that, for Leacock, imperialism was more a spiritual mission than a political agenda, representing the opportunity to unite Canadians, to inspire allegiance to a lofty tradition, and thereby to combat the threat of materialism, urbanism, fragmentation, and continentalism. These themes resurface in subsequent essays, culminating in The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice, which was published in 1920. Carefully selected, and prefaced with an updated introduction to Leacock's life and work, these essays contribute to our understanding of Leacock and illuminate his role as a major figure in Canadian intellectual history.