Stanley Brehaut Ryerson, 1911-1998

By Frank, David | Canadian Dimension, July-August 1998 | Go to article overview

Stanley Brehaut Ryerson, 1911-1998


Frank, David, Canadian Dimension


"If someone were to ask me if I had the strength to fight for the liberation of the wage workers, for the wiping - out of unemployment and mass starvation of the poor by the rich - I'd say I didn't know. I don't know.... All I'm sure of is that, if there's anything worthwhile in me, any 'guts' at all, I'll have to try..."

That was Stanley Brehaut Ryerson, writing to his mother and father from Paris in 1934. He was 23, completing graduate studies in literature at the Sorbonne. But instead of following a career as a traditional intellectual, for the next six decades, he devoted himself to a life of political engagement.

These were the worst years of the Great Depression, and Canadians were turning to the left. Unemployed workers were going up against the state; activists were defending democratic rights; labour militants were organizing unions; others were mobilizing against war and fascism. Ryerson immersed himself in this culture of struggle and solidarity by undertaking political work, first for the Young Communist League and then the Communist Party.

"Reserved, serious, with something always waiting to be done," wrote a newspaper reporter at the time. Ryerson still looked like a professor; he always would. For those who wanted to identify Marxism as an alien ideology, Ryerson confounded the stereotype. On his mother's side, his roots went back to New France in the 1600s. On his father's side, his great-grandfather was Egerton Ryerson, founder of the public-school system in nineteenth-century Upper Canada. As an agitator, educator and organizer in twentieth-century Canada, Stanley Ryerson had found his own place in history.

The years that followed have the complexity of lived experience and are not easily captured by general categories. There was the period of the united front in the 1930s and 1940s, when the party had its largest membership and influence; then there was the Cold War, with all its consequences of marginalization; and then the 1960s, when new opportunities presented themselves. Through all this, Ryerson functioned as an organic intellectual of the Canadian left, learning from his interaction with activists and intellectuals alike, in English and in French. In the internal party crisis of 1956-57, he defended the party's traditional positions; a dozen years later, in the crisis of 1968-69, he was a critic, and withdrew from the party in 1971. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Stanley Brehaut Ryerson, 1911-1998
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.