Inventory of the
James Laxer fonds

Inventory #F0166

The digitization of this finding aid was made possible - in part or entirely - through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.


Fonds/Collection Number:F0166
Title:James Laxer fonds
Extent:7.68 m of textual records
46 photographs
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative History:
James Laxer is a political economist, educator, author, and commentator. He was born in 1941 and educated at the University of Toronto where he completed an Honours B.A., and at Queen's University where he earned an M.A. and pursued doctoral studies in history, completing all requirements except his thesis. In 1969, Laxer was one of the founders of Canada's largest New Left political movement known as the Waffle. In 1971, he ran second for the national leadership of the New Democratic Party. During the mid-1970s, Laxer was a leading crusader against the multi-national petroleum companies and his activism helped lead to the creation of the nationally owned oil company, Petro Canada. Between 1978 and 1981, he hosted a Canadian public affairs television program. Laxer then served as research director of the federal New Democratic Party. At the end of his two year term, he wrote a controversial critique of the party's economic policies. In 1984, the National Film Board of Canada hired Laxer to be host for the award winning programme 'Reckoning', a series of documentaries concerning Canada's place in the changing global economy. Since 1986, Laxer has been a Professor of Political Science at York University, where he lectures on the post-war global economic and political order, as well as the Canadian political economy. In addition to teaching, Laxer has written extensively about global and Canadian politics, and has published over ten books including "The border : Canada, the US and adventures along the 49th parallel," "Stalking the elephant : my discovery of America," "Red diaper baby : a boyhood in the Age of McCarthyism," and "Tecumseh and Brock : the war of 1812" among others.
Scope and Content:

The fonds consists of records created by James Laxer in his capacity as a student, writer, and activist. Fonds includes some of Laxer's high school debate speeches, MA and PhD research, professional correspondence, Waffle records, political reports, research notes, newspaper columns, book proposals, and drafts of articles and book manuscripts for both published and unpublished material including 'Leap of faith,' 'Decline of the superpowers,' 'The undeclared war : class conflict in the age of cyber capitalism,' 'Stalking the elephant : my discovery of America,' 'The border : between uneasy neighbours,' 'Red diaper baby : a memoir of childhood in the age of McCarthyism,' The Groundwork guides to 'empire','oil', and to 'democracy,' 'The Acadians : in search of a homeland,' 'Jamais Provence,' 'Mission of folly,' 'Beyond the bubble : imagining a new Canadian economy,' 'Tecumseh and Brock : the war of 1812,' 'A house divided : watching America's descent into civil conflict,' 'Playing for a continent,' and 'Paris days : in a time of crisis.' It also includes correspondence and draft scripts for his films, 'The CCF-NDP : building Jerusalem' and 'Reckoning,' printouts of his personal blog postings, and replies to his freedom of information requests to various security agencies.

Restrictions on
Access and Use:
Files referring to unpublished works are closed until publication.
Finding Aid: File lists are available.
URL of Finding Aid:
Accruals: The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1998-028, 1999-046, 2002-014, 2002-038, 2002-050, 2003-009, 2004-025, 2005-019, 2006-016, 2006-046, 2007-019, 2007-050, 2008-045, 2009-036, 2010-053, 2011-041, 2012-048, 2013-032. Further accruals are expected.
Related Records: Related records may be found in the Robert M. Laxer fonds (F0179). Additional records related to the Waffle may be found in the Kim Malcolmson and Paul Barber fonds (F0546), the Gordon Laxer fonds (F0561), the Giles Endicott fonds (F0562), and the Hilary Armstrong fonds (F0583).
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by James Laxer in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Subject Access Points:Laxer, James, 1941-
Laxer, Robert, 1915-1998
Provenance Access Points:Laxer, James, 1941-
Laxer, Robert, 1915-1998

Date of creation: 2002/04/05
Date of last revision: 2013/08/23
Please select the above links to explore the complete finding aid.
Links to printer and downloading friendly PDF versions of each section of the finding aid appear at the bottom of each page.

Printer friendly version: ON00370-f0000166.pdf
Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader