Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2021-01-05

"Letters from the Promised Land": The Ambiguous Radicalization of a Swedish Immigrant, 1928-1934

Document type Article
Author Jean, Eva St.
Journal Labour / Le Travail
Volume 53
Date 2004 Spring
ISSN 0700-3862
Pages 203-221


The article presents a description of the social situations encountered by immigrant workers in Canada in the period 1928-1934 with special reference to the letters written by Swedish immigrant Martin Johansson to his family in Sweden. Johansson left Sweden in March 1928 in order to participate in the labour market in Canada. The letters are stated to reveal the contradictory and confusing experiences of the working class during the Great Depression. The correspondence reveals the birth of a radical political consciousness in Canada. Johansson's sojourning status has prevented him from participating in the Canadian labour movement.