Biography

1438 Bill Holm (1925-2020)

Bill Holm (1925-2020) An obituary by Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa * Think of a slow, gentle, deep-water earthquake. You may have missed it, but think how its waves reverberate for a long long time, repeatedly coming ashore and changing entire landscapes over time. That was American art historian Bill Holm. Bill Holm died in December 2020 at…
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1436 The northern precedent

Lewis & Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver and Mackenzie by David L. Nicandri, with a foreword by Clay S. Jenkinson Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2020 $32.95 (US) / 9780874223804 Reviewed by Barry M. Gough * Long before the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with all its patronizing by Steven…
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1432 Sophia Chang and the Big Apple

The Baddest Bitch in the Room: A Memoir by Sophia Chang New York: Catapult, 2021 $17.95 (U.S.) / 9781646220816 Reviewed by LiLynn Wan * The essence of autobiography is in creating identity, and Sophia Chang’s memoir, The Baddest Bitch in the Room, does just that. By writing her life story, she asserts: “I am defining…
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1431 A naval labour of love

Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer in His Own Words, 1916-1929 by John Crispo Inglis “Dutchy” Edwards, edited by Helen Edwards [Victoria]: Helen Edwards, 2020 $29.50  /  9780969728252 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Helen Edwards, a well-known heritage professional researcher in Victoria, has achieved a work of immense importance to naval history in…
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1429 A fine Edwardian melodrama

Hampton Court: A History by Allen Specht Victoria: Privately Published, 2021 $15.00  /  9781778350450 Available at Books & Shenanigans (347 Cook Street) and Ivy’s Bookshop on Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, or by contacting the author at <awspecht2@gmail.com> Reviewed by Martin Segger * The domestic arrangements that distinguish a ménage à trois from a ménage à deux…
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1425 Greta, Cassandra, Athena

ESSAY: Greta, Cassandra, Athena: Visions of Justice by Jennifer Moss * Davos, Switzerland. January 25th, 2019: A small, serious, 16-year-old girl in bright purple pants perches on the edge of her chair at the widely televised World Economic Forum. She shuffles her papers for a moment, looks briefly at the camera, and begins with the…
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1421 A border outrage, 1884

Deadly Neighbours: Colonialism, Cattle Feuds, Murder and Vigilantes in a Far West Valley by Chad Reimer Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00 / 9781773860732 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * White settler injustice: racial tensions fuelled by two sets of laws, one white and the other First Nations  I’m a sucker for old dusters. The westerns…
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1411 A constabulary for women

Vancouver’s Women in Blue: Trailblazers of the Vancouver Police Department, 1904-1975 by Carolyn J. Daley, with a foreword by Bev Busson Maple Bay: Ruddy Duck Press, 2020 $49.95 / 9781999279202 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * “I don’t remember the first time I drew my gun.” That’s one way to grab the reader’s attention. It’s the…
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1362 Seamstress to cabinet minister

A Liberal-Labour Lady: The Times and Life of Mary Ellen Spear Smith by Veronica Strong-Boag Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $89.95 / 9780774867245 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * Who? Mary Ellen Spear Smith (1863-1933) was British Columbia’s first female Member of the Legislative Assembly. She was also the first female cabinet minister and the first female…
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1352 I walk, therefore I am

Philosophers’ Walks by Bruce Baugh London and New York: Routledge, 2021 $35.96 (U.S.) / 9780367333133 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Growing up in North Vancouver, Bruce Baugh found himself drawn to taking “long, solitary walks” amongst its “ravines and forests.” During his later extensive studies, he was fascinated to discover that some of the philosophical…
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1340 Canada and Vietnam revisited

The Devil’s Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War by John Boyko Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Knopf Canada), 2021 $32.00 / 9780735278004 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart  * Six Easy Pieces. John Boyko has written a compelling, largely anecdotal history of Canada’s involvement in the Americans’ long years of war in Indochina. It consists…
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1327 Who was Benjamin Lay?

Prophet Against Slavery. Benjamin Lay: A Graphic Novel by David Lester, with Marcus Rediker and Paul Buhle (editors) Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Beacon Press), 2021 $20.00 / 9780807081792 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Who was Benjamin Lay? A radical 18th-century Quaker challenges slavery It is fair to ask who the central figure is in…
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1318 A wide spectrum of Island women

Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trail-blazing Women of Vancouver Island by Haley Healey Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $9.95 / 9781772033533 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Flourishing and Free is a sequel to author Haley Healey’s best-selling book On Their Own Terms: True Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island. In her new book she…
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1308 Attaboy: a life of Muggins

Muggins: The Life and Afterlife of a Canadian Canine War Hero by Grant Hayter-Menzies, with a foreword by Mark Zuehlke Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $22.95 / 9781772033717 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Writing a book totally devoted to a dog is a difficult task but Grant Hayter-Menzies has it down to a fine art. In Muggins:…
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