History (B.C.)

#337 True tales of Camelsfoot

First published Jul. 8, 2018. Culture Gap: Towards a New World in the Yalakom Valley by Judith Plant Vancouver: New Star Books, 2017. $19  /  9781554201334 Reviewed by Nancy Janovicek * What had happened to us? Where did it go wrong? What could we have done? What should we have done? What we built together…
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#333 Indigenous canoe racing

Southern Northwest Coast Indigenous Canoe Racing: A Brief History by Alan L. Hoover Victoria: NWC Canoe Publications, 2018 $14.95 / 9781775011903 Reviewed by Sanford Osler First published Jul. 2, 2018 * Once a year my local oceanfront park in North Vancouver fills with campers bringing dozens of long sleek wooden canoes to race over the…
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#332 Frank has still got game at 78

First published June 30, 2018. Robin Brunet Let’s Get Frank: Canada’s Mad Man of Advertising Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2018. $29.95  /  9781771621816 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Anyone who watched the award-winning TV series Mad Men will be equally discomfited with the advertising industry as depicted in Let’s Get Frank, a biography of…
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#329 From inuksuit to cyberspace

Sculpture in Canada: A History by Maria Tippett Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $39.95  /  9781771620932 Reviewed by Catherine Nutting First published June 26, 2018 * Maria Tippett’s Sculpture in Canada is, she writes, not an encyclopedia, but an introduction; an eye-opener to some of the greatest Canadian sculpture. The book is an ambitious project….
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#327 Site C boondoggle unravelled

Breaching the Peace: The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand against Big Hydro by Sarah Cox Vancouver: UBC Press (On Point Press), 2018. $24.95  /  9780774890267 * Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam by Wendy Holm (editor) Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2018 $22.95 / 9781459413160 Both books reviewed…
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#326 Up-Island with E.J. Hughes

E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island by Robert Amos, with the participation of the estate of E.J. Hughes Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 $35  /  9781771512558 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * It’s not easy to paint an arbutus tree, although many artists try. Know in Washington State as Pacific madrone, the arbutus (Arbutus menzeisii) above the 49th…
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#324 Orcas through history

Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2018 $32.95  /  9780190673093 Reviewed by Anna Hall First published June 18, 2018 * It was a quiet day in the summer … when the shots rang out … the injured mother [killer whale] pushed…
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#323 Beau Dick’s revolutionary art

Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit by Darren J. Martens, in collaboration with the Audain Art Museum Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2018 $40.00 / 9781773270401 Reviewed by Alan L. Hoover First published June 15, 2018 * Chief Beau Dick (Walas Gwa’yam) (1955-2017) was a much-honoured artist and activist in the Kwakwaka’wakw community, the wider Indigenous and non-Indigenous…
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#321 West Kootenay memories

First published June 13, 2019. Children of the Kootenays: Memories of Mining Towns by Shirley D. Stainton Victoria: Heritage House, 2018. $19.95  /  9781772031850 Reviewed by Sylvia Crooks * Several books have been written about the Kootenay mines and mining settlements, many of them now ghost towns, abandoned largely during the Great Depression. Now Shirley…
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#320 An East Vancouver childhood

Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir by Chelene Knight Toronto: Book*hug, 2018 $20.00  /  9781771663908 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter First published June 13, 2018 * Amidst the swirl of media reports of rising housing prices, empty houses, and increased property taxes, Chelene Knight’s Dear Current Occupant: A Memoir offers a rare and nuanced view of what…
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#317 Channeling Camus

The Plague by Kevin Chong Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018 $19.95 / 9781551527185 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner First published June 6, 2018 * A 1947 modernist novel by an existentialist French philosopher set in a dusty Algerian town? This sounds like an improbable inspiration for a story about glittering 21st-century Vancouver, but Kevin Chong manages…
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#316 Nak’adli Nation honours Kw’eh

Remembering Chief Kw’eh compiled by Lillian Sam and Frieda Klippenstein Fort St. James: Nak’azdli Whut’en Press, 2016 $10 / 9780995286900 Reviewed by Daniel Sims First published June 3, 2018 * The Nak’azdli Chief ‘Ulh’gweh–aka Chief Kw’eh or Chief Kwah–is mostly widely known as the man who spared the life of (future Sir) James Douglas. Nak’azdli…
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#314 E.J. Hughes renewed

E.J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island by Robert Amos, with the participation of the estate of E.J. Hughes Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2018 $35.00  /  9781771512558 Reviewed by Alan Twigg First published June 1, 2018 * “B.C. is the best place in the world for landscape subject matter.” — E.J. Hughes “One of the main reasons I…
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#313 Doreen Armitage (1931-2018)

First published June 1, 2018. Born in Toronto on August 14, 1931, Doreen Alice Ellen (Hayes) Armitage died at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver on May 15, 2018. A writer who believed strongly in oral history, Armitage wrote for publications such as Canadian Geographic, Outdoors Canada and Canadian Living before publishing her first book,…
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#312 A sesquicentennial smorgasbord

The Language of Family: Stories of Bonds and Belonging by Michelle van der Merwe (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2017 $27.95  /  9780772670526 Reviewed by Claire Sicherman First published May 30, 2018 * When I first held The Language of Family in my hands, I could feel the faint stirring of emotion, the…
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#309 Christy Clark’s downfall

First published May 28, 2018. A Matter of Confidence: The Inside Story of the Political Battle for BC by Rob Shaw and Richard Zussman Victoria: Heritage House, 2018. $22.95  /  9781772032543 Reviewed by Hamish Telford * The British Columbia provincial election on May 9, 2017 was one for the history books. After a long night…
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#308 A little revolution, please

First published May 25, 2018. City on Edge: A Rebellious Century of Vancouver Protests, Riots, and Strikes by Kate Bird, foreword by Charles Demers Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2017. $32.95  /  9781771643139 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * We would be remiss if we did not preface this review with a notation that Michael Barnholden has previously…
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#307 Why Liberals dominate federally

First published May 24, 2018. The Canadian Party System: An Analytic History by Richard Johnston Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $55  /  9780774836074 Reviewed by Adam Coombs *      Few political parties in countries within the Westminster political system have been as successful over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as the Liberal Party…
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#302 Middle class artist on relief

Alan Caswell Collier, Relief Stiff: An Artist’s Letters from Depression-era British Columbia by Peter Neary (editor) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $45.00  /  9780774834988 Reviewed by Daniel Francis First published May 8, 2018 * Most British Columbians live within an easy drive of one of the unemployment relief camps established by the federal government during the…
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