History (B.C.)

1658 Wheel out the big guns

Cannon in Canada, Province by Province. Volume 5: British Columbia by Harold Skaarup Fredericton: Global Summit House/ Silverhawk, 2021 $29.99  /  9781956515657 Reviewed by David Morgan * The number and variety of vintage cannon preserved in British Columbia is surprising. Harold Skaarup of Fredericton has documented some 58 in his recent book, Cannon in Canada,…
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1656 On the road with Liz Bryan

Two books reviewed by Ken Favrholdt: Adventure Roads of BC’s Northwest Heartland by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772034035 * Pioneer Churches along the Gold Rush Trail: An Explorer’s Guide by Liz Bryan Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772034011 * Liz Bryan, photographer and popular writer, has published two books this…
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1655 Assignment on the Pacific

Keepers of the Garden by A.S. (Lana) Rodlie Independently published, 2018 Price on Amazon, $22.93  / 9781730700200 To obtain a copy of the book, contact lana_rodlie@telus.net or write to 367 McAnally Street, Trail, BC V1R 3R3 (phone 250 368-9227) Reviewed by Vanessa Winn * Viewing the past from the perspective of lesser-known historical figures is…
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1654 Chilcotin master chronicler

Talking to the Storykeepers: Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau by Sage Birchwater Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00 / 9781773860800 Reviewed by Richard T. Wright * The Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast region in the central-west portion of the province of BC is a land renowned for broad grasslands, magnificent mountains, fast glacial rivers, salmon, caribou, vast cattle ranches,…
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1653 Minding a vital musician

The Longest Suicide: The Authorized Biography of Art Bergmann by Jason Schneider, with a foreword by Michael Turner Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781772141962 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * As I turn the shiny pages of this necessary biography of Canada’s enfant terrible, or “punk poet laureate” as he’s more often billed, songwriter and…
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1650 Doukhobor affirmations

The Descendants by Robert Chursinoff Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $24.95 / 9780889714403 Reviewed by W.H. New * I very much enjoyed reading Robert Chursinoff’s first novel, The Descendants. I think it’s a remarkable achievement, one that deserves a wide range of readers, both for the appeal of the story it tells and for the importance…
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1649 BC’s undersea adventurers

Deep, Dark & Dangerous: The Story of British Columbia’s World-class Undersea Technology Industry by Vickie Jensen Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $36.95 / 9781550179200 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * In 1967, when a few cash-strapped Canadians towed their newly built manned-submersible from Vancouver to Washington State, biologists at the University of Washington got the chance…
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1647 Hugh Greer’s career

11,000 Days at School: From Class Clown to High School Vice-Principal by Hugh Greer Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $22.95 / 9781989467541 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * There are moments that just seem well-timed. This was one of them. It was a Sunday morning. I had several issues on the go and was avoiding most…
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1643 The politics of provincehood

British Columbia in the Balance, 1846-1871 by Jean Barman Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $36.95 / 9781550179880 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A Governor, a Bishop and a Lady: BC History’s Exciting Cast of Characters Tell Us How It All Began I recently spend a chilly morning visiting the Parliament Buildings in Victoria in search…
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1638 Regulating opiates & opioids

Heroin: An Illustrated History by Susan Boyd Winnipeg and Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2022 $34.00 / 9781773635163 Reviewed by Connor Robinson * Susan Boyd’s Heroin: An Illustrative History is a timely and illuminative record of how heroin, and opiates/opioids at large, moved from a drug with continued therapeutic relevance to a political tool for demonization…
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1627 Enterprise on Malcolm Island

We Work Together for the Benefit of All: The Story of Malcolm Island’s Socialist Collective, 1901-1905, A Translation of Matti Halminen’s Sointula by Matti Halminen, edited by Heather Graham and Merja Tammi Sointula: Sointula Museum and Historical Society, 2021 $35.00 /  9780994926913 Please note: this book can be obtained from Sointula Museum by visiting in…
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1625 Fraser River waterways

The Call of the Red-Winged Blackbird: Essays on the Common and Extraordinary by Tim Bowling Hamilton, ON: Wolsak & Wynn, 2022 $22.00 / 9781989496428 Reviewed by Valerie Green * It is always a delightful surprise to discover a book you would not normally read, only to find it extremely enjoyable. Such was the case for…
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1624 Schools of thought

Lessons in Legitimacy: Colonialism, Capitalism, and the Rise of State Schooling in British Columbia by Sean Carleton Vancouver: UBC Press, 2022 $89.95   / 9780774868075 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * With its sardonic title, Lessons in Legitimacy exemplifies an activist genre of history that has emerged in Canada following the revelations and recommendations of the…
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1618 Goaltender, heal thyself

The Save of My Life: My Journey Out of the Dark by Corey Hirsch, with Sean Patrick Conboy Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $32.99 / 9781443461092 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * It must be hard to write a good topical hockey book these days. The goalposts, as it were, keep shifting on the zeitgeist as Canada’s…
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1617 Love in vile places

Love in Vile Places: Military Hospitals as the Site of Care and Nurture by Jo-Anne Fiske * For Remembrance Day 2022 we present a memoir by Jo-Anne Fiske of Fraser Lake, in BC’s north-central interior, of her father Humphrey William Fiske (1886-1959). At the time of his enlistment in Kelowna in 1916, the Norfolk-born Fiske…
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