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Lachlan MacKinnon


Best Scholarly Article in Canadian Business History


Lachlan MacKinnon, “Importing the Clairtone Sound: Political Economy, Regionalism, and Deindustrialization in Pictou County,” Labour Le Travail, 91 (2023), 147–168.

In this excellent article, Lachlan Mackinnon reconstructs an important moment in state-led industrialization. He focuses on Clairtone, a Toronto hi-fi manufacturer that set up in Nova Scotia in the 1960s, but his lens is much broader than a single company. As traditional industries like coal declined, Nova Scotia Premier John Stanfield encouraged the private sector to industrialize the province. The Clairtone effort failed, but in telling its story, Mackinnon expands our knowledge of state-led industrialization, the structural constraints on Maritime business operations, and the challenges raised by regional inequality. This is Canadian business history at its finest. Mackinnon’s case study is deeply researched yet noticeably focused, and he is alert to the broad social forces that shape business practice and political possibilities.