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New book chronicles the rise and fall of Abitibi Power and Paper


September 30, 2020
By P&PC Staff/University of Toronto Press

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A new book on the rise and fall of Abitibi Power and Paper Limited and the newsprint industry in Canada has been released by the University of Toronto Press.

In the 704-page Corporate Cataclysm: Abitibi Power & Paper and the Collapse of the Newsprint Industry, 1912-1946, author Barry E.C. Boothman traces the history of the storied forest products company.

In the first half of the 20th century, Abitibi was Canada’s biggest manufacturer – a success story after the Wall Street crash of 1929 and a company deemed “too big to fail.” But the company eventually ended up at the centre of the longest and most controversial bankruptcy in Canadian history – a fourteen-year receivership riddled with disputes.

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In the book, Boothman, a retired professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of New Brunswick, also explores the company’s impact on the newsprint industry and on the advent of Canadian corporate capitalism.

Moving from the frontier areas of northern Ontario to the heart of the continental economy, Corporate Cataclysm shows how competitive strategies, industrial organization, corporate finance and law combined with the empire-building dreams of entrepreneurs and the concerns of politicians to generate an economic disaster.

Purchase the book here.