The Citizen's Wage: The State of the Elderly in Canada, 1900-1951


286 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-7792-7
DDC 305.26'0971




Reviewed by James S. Frideres

James S. Frideres is associate dean (research) of the Faculty of Social
Sciences at the University of Calgary and the author of Native People in
Canada: Contemporary Conflicts and A World of Communities.


The primary objective of this book is to show how changing attitudes
toward Canada’s elderly during the first half of this century
influenced and were influenced by such policies and programs as
mandatory retirement and old-age pensions. These welfare state policies
and programs reflected efforts by Canadian politicians and bureaucrats
to ensure a minimum standard of living for Canada’s older citizens.

Included in this book are discussions of how the elderly used their
wealth to protect themselves and their families, and how older citizens
became defined as a cohesive and influential lobbying group. Snell also
provides an excellent macroanalysis of the processes involved in
elderly-state relations. His well-researched and carefully crafted book
is recommended for those interested in public policy, the family, and


Snell, James G., “The Citizen's Wage: The State of the Elderly in Canada, 1900-1951,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,