Economy & industry

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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1621 Noise, heat, smoke, & smell

Out of the Fire: Metalworkers along the Salish Sea by Pirjo Raits. Photographs by Dale Roth and Michele Ramberg Victoria: Heritage House, 2022 $39.95 / 9781772033434 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * The cover image of a book entitled Out of the Fire might be expected to be aflame with oranges and red. Not this one: even…
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1613 A forest with a mission

The Tree Farm: The Evolution of Canada’s First Community Forest by Michelle Rhodes Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $35.00 / 9781989025680 Reviewed by David Brownstein * Michelle Rhodes’s The Tree Farm celebrates what was once an anomaly. Whereas local community-directed forest management used to be rare in British Columbia, with each passing day, this model…
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1609 Nuu-chah-nulth high bow canoes

Making a Chaputs: The Teachings and Responsibilities of a Canoe Maker by Joe Martin and Alan Hoover Victoria: Royal BC Museum Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9780772680273 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * With a Pacific coastline that stretches 25,725 km (15,985 miles), British Columbia has for eons relied on water transport and for centuries First Nations’…
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1606 Peace River portraits

A Century in the North Peace: The Life and Times of Anne and John Callison by Erín Moure, with Anne Callison Montreal and Vancouver: Zat-So Productions, 2018 $22.79 / 9780986759529 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Poet and translator Erin Moure with her 96-year-old aunt Anne Callison in 2018 wrote a remarkable, lovingly composed, and detailed…
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1587 Monsieur Maillardville

Johnny of Maillardville by Marie-Laure Chevrier with illustrations by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2021 $15.95/ 9781988242422 * Monsieur Maillardville: Un Pionnier Visionnaire par Marie-Laure Chevrier avec illustrations par Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Éditions du Pacifique Nord-Ouest, 2021 $15.95  /  9782925064121 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy *                  …
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1549 Clarifying climate policy

The Resistance Dilemma: Place-Based Movements and the Climate Crisis by George Hoberg Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (The MIT Press), 2021 $54.00 / 9780262543088 Reviewed by Stephen Bocking * The climate crisis demands that we break our fossil fuel habit. This implies an energy revolution, rewiring society to rely on renewable electricity. New technologies can…
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1542 A class war of words

Dissenting Traditions: Essays on Bryan D. Palmer, Marxism, and History by Sean Carleton, Ted McCoy, and Julia Smith (editors) Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2021 $37.99 / 9781771993111 Reviewed by Dennis Pilon Dissenting Traditions is available for free download as a PDF, or for purchase as a print or ebook, from the AU Press website *…
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1529 Enter the Native Daughters

Hastings Mill: The Historic Times of a Vancouver Community by Lisa Anne Smith Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781553806417 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * The history of Vancouver differs from that of Canada’s other major cities. It’s as though she jumped a couple of centuries to land at last on this side of the…
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1518 Brazen timber theft

Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods by Lyndsie Bourgon Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2022 $34.95 / 9781771647199 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * For many readers, Tree Thieves will surprise, inform, disturb, alarm, and enlighten. This impressive, absorbing, and often riveting debut work of non-fiction introduces a serious issue, as well as cause…
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1514 Sternwheeler majesty

Connecting the Kootenays: The Kootenay Lake Ferries. A Hundred Years of Service, 1921-2020 by Michael A. Cone Nelson: Maa Press, 2022 $45.00 /  9781778350511 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Sternwheeler Majesty: A century of sailing the Kootenays on the “boats” that plied the region’s waterways My childhood memory of the bygone era of sternwheelers on…
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1513 History matters: Meares Island

Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound by Barry Gough Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $26.95 / 9781550179576 Reviewed by Jason M. Colby * Barry Gough opens his newest book with a phone call that he received in early 1986. On the other end of the line was Jack Woodward,…
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1505 Vancouver’s neighbourhood hubs

Neighbourhood Houses: Building Community in Vancouver by Miu Chung Yan and Sean Lauer (editors), with a foreword by David Hulchanski Vancouver, UBC Press, 2021 $32.95 / 9780774865821 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * The text opens with a compelling question: “What would it be like to live in a welcoming community?” It is a provocative start…
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1501 Tales of a rural ethos

One Inch from Disaster: True Tales from the Wilds of British Columbia by Kelly Randall Ricketts Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $22.95 / 9781550179262 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * Flip over a copy of One Inch from Disaster and you’ll see a picture of a shirtless Kelly Randall (Zeus) Ricketts glancing back at the camera,…
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1498 A politician for all seasons

Using Power Well: Bob Williams and the Making of British Columbia by Bob Williams with Benjamin Isitt and Thomas Bevan Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $22.95  /   9780889714243 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A Man for All Political Seasons: meet the creator of ICBC, the land reserve and an improved Downtown Eastside If B.C. ever had…
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1486 Canadian Pacific calling

Canadian Pacific Trackside 1977 to 2012 with Conductor John Cowan by John Cowan Avon-By-The-Sea, New Jersey: Morning Sun Books, 2022 $69.95 (US) / 9781582487854 This book is available from Kelly’s Kaboose, The Railway Store, in Savona, and Central Hobbies in Vancouver —  or order a copy from your local independent bookstore or directly from the…
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1482 The black cat lives on

For Freedom We Will Fight: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia, 1905-1990 by Larry Gambone Edmonton: Black Cat Press, 2021 $16.00  /   9781926878263 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * B.C.’s Wobblies: A radical union that will not die The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), known everywhere as the Wobblies, were once the…
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1481 Save Swiss Edelweiss Village

ESSAY: Swiss Edelweiss Village: to be or not to be? by Ron Dart * Swiss guides were front and centre in the origins and development of mountaineering and mountain culture in Western Canada. The fact that much of their work was divided between Lake Louise and Rogers Pass meant that Golden, BC, became their place…
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1460 Trainspotting in the Kootenays

When Trains Ruled the Kootenays: A Short History of Railways in Southeastern British Columbia by Terry Gainer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $25.00  /  9781771604017 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Trainspotting in the Kootenays: Did we miss the train as a better way to travel in the 21st century? When I was a kid growing…
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