image of the book cover of Eugene A. Forsey: An Intellectual Biography

Eugene A. Forsey: An Intellectual Biography

Frank Milligan

$34.95 CAD / $39.95 USD (S)

330 pages, 1 illustration

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 1552381188

Paperback: 978-1-55238-118-2

Library PDF: 978-1-55238-334-6

February 2004

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A rich an enticing portrait of Eugene Forsey, one of Canada’s most well-known political figures, from his upbringing to his remarkable political career.

In this unusual biography of one of Canada’s most well-known public figures, author Frank Milligan traces the intellectual foundations on which Eugene Forsey’s world-view was constructed.

Starting with his middle-class Ottawa upbringing, Forsey’s philosophical pilgrimage was the product of a deep allegiance to a Christian social gospel, exposure to the radical politics of the labour movement and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), and a profound reverence for British Tory constitutionalism.

Milligan weaves these threads together with skill and dexterity. By studying Forsey’s beliefs—both religious and political—Milligan unearths the philosophical underpinnings of many of Canada’s early-twentieth-century political, economic, religious, and social reform movements.

About the Author

Frank Milligan earned his PhD from the University of Alberta. He was also the founding director of the Reynolds Alberta Museum, director of the New Brunswick Museum, and, since 1998, has been the executive director of the Nantucket Historical Association.

Praise for Eugene A. Forsey 

Milligan succeeds in portraying Forsey as ‘a transitional figure in the Canadian intellectual reform tradition.’ Eugene Forsey, as Milligan ably demonstrates, was too harsh by half in assessing his own life’s work and influence.

—Keith Fleming, The Canadian Historical Review 

Frank Milligan has provided a rich and enticing portrait of Eugene Forsey.

—Roger Hutchinson, University of Toronto Quarterly 

An exceedingly well–crafted anthropology of Forsey’s intellectual development and contributions, and a complex and convincing portrait.

—David Taras, University of Calgary

Table of Contents


1. The Early Years
2. Eugene Forsey and Tory Democracy
3. The Roots of Christian Activism
4. The Oxford Tradition
5. Depression-Era Christianity
6. "Real Democracy": 1930-1935
7. Civil Libertarian and the Forces of Reaction
8. The Planned Society
9. The British Constitutional Tradition
10. Conclusion