Economy & industry

1305 McGillivray’s essential geography

Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition (fourth edition) by Brett McGillivray Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020 $55.00 / 9780774864329 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Brett McGillivray’s Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition has withstood the test of time since its first edition in 2000, which I reviewed for BC Studies…
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1281 Democracy in danger

Restoring Democracy in an Age of Populists and Pestilence by Jonathan Manthorpe Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2020 $24.95 / 9781770865822 Reviewed by Eric W. Sager * We now have a large shelfful of books on the perilous state of democracy in the twenty-first century. These books are responding to an apparent crisis: the decline in the…
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1278 Across the continent before GPS

The York Factory Express: Fort Vancouver to Hudson Bay, 1826-1849 by Nancy Marguerite Anderson Vancouver: Ronsdale Books, 2021 $24.95 /  9781553805786 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * The York Factory Express was an enterprise for transporting Hudson’s Bay Company records, correspondence, and external mail along a water-based route that spanned the continent. This aquatic highway linked…
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1273 Ancient craft, long history

Mining Country: A History of Canada’s Mines and Miners by John Sandlos and Arn Keeling Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2021 $29.95 / 9781459413535 Reviewed by Robert G. McCandless * The introduction to this attractive book says Canada’s mining history is “curiously neglected,” then steps into that gap to present two hundred years of history….
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1269 A choice Kootenay collection

Lost Kootenays: A History in Pictures by Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton Lunenburg, NS: MacIntyre Purcell Publishing, 2021 $29.95 / 9781772761641 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh Editor’s note: the full photo captions below are taken directly from Lost Kootenays. * Kootenay Home: A prize collection of historic images shares the Kootenays’ rugged past Growing up in…
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1267 Footman at Government House

ESSAY: An “Odd-Man” at Government House, Victoria by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor * For most people, reading another person’s diary is a furtive and shameful act. For historians, however, studying the private journal of a long-dead person can be a valuable and exciting, if occasionally puzzling, endeavour. In 1870, Robert Colston was both the official government…
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1247 The less the merrier

The Day the World Stops Shopping: How ending consumerism saves the environment and ourselves by J.B. MacKinnon Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Vintage Canada), 2021 $32.95 / 9780735275539 Reviewed by Brian Harvey * On October 14, 2021, The Day the World Stops Shopping: How ending consumerism saves the environment and ourselves, by J.B. MacKinnon, reviewed here…
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1246 Two cousins meet for dinner

The Professor and the Plumber: Conversations About Equality and Inequality by Eric W. Sager, with illustrations by Hanna Melin Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $22.99 / 9781039105553 Reviewed by Jak King * Many would argue that inequality is a defining characteristic of life in the early 2000s. More specifically — since some form of inequality has been…
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1242 Architecture, investment, & greed

Icebergs, Zombies and the Ultra Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century by Matthew Soules Hudson, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2021 $26.95 (U.S.) / 9781616899462 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Everyone says many of the same things about real estate. “That view is worth a million dollars.” “If you want to make money, real…
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1239 Tackling industrial reforestation

David Brownstein reviews two books: Highballer: True Tales from a Treeplanting Life by Greg Nolan Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $26.95  /   9781550178685 * Slashburner: Hot Times in the British Columbia Woods by Nicholas Raeside Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020 $24.95  /  9781550178982 * After a brief eclipse by pipelines, British Columbia’s forests are again…
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1227 John Jensen, northern socialist

No Compromise: A Memoir by John Jensen, edited by Rod Link, foreword by George Heyman Vancouver: Walhachin Press, 2021. This book is for sale at Munro’s Books (Victoria), People’s Co-op Bookstore (Vancouver), and Misty River Books (Terrace) — Ed. $20.00  /  9781777582302 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Northern Socialist. Tracing the life of a B.C….
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1199 Settler viruses & wild salmon

Not on My Watch: How a Renegade Whale Biologist Took on Governments and Industry to Save Wild Salmon by Alexandra Morton Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Vintage Canada), 2021 $35.00 / 9780735279667 Reviewed by Stephen Bocking * In the late 1980s Alexandra Morton encountered the first signs that salmon farms, newcomers to the Broughton Archipelago, were…
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1198 Land, colonialism, & temptation

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline Toronto: Penguin Random House (Vintage Canada), 2019 $21.00 / 9780735277205 Reviewed by David Milward * Cherie Dimaline, a member of the Georgian Bay Metis community in Ontario, has emerged as a leading writer of Indigenous fiction. One of her novels, The Marrow Thieves, has won multiple awards including the…
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1195 A serious thinker of the labour left

Able to Lead: Disablement, Radicalism, and the Political Life of E.T. Kingsley by Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $34.95 / 9780774865777 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * “Impossibilist” Crusader: E.T. Kingsley led the Socialist Party of Canada and edited the Western Clarion Eugene Thornton “E.T.” Kingsley (1856-1929) was a sharp-tongued orator in…
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1192 The histories of Tod Inlet

Deep and Sheltered Waters: The History of Tod Inlet by David R. Gray, with a foreword by Nancy J. Turner and Robert D. Turner Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9780772672568 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * With Deep and Sheltered Waters: The History of Tod Inlet, David Gray provides an account, both…
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1179 History galleries & robber barons

The Object’s the Thing: The Writings of Yorke Edwards, A Pioneer of Heritage Interpretation in Canada by Richard Kool and Robert A. Cannings (editors) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772678515 * Craigdarroch Castle in 21 Treasures by Moira Dann, with an afterword by Bruce Davies  Victoria: TouchWood Editions, 2021 $20.00 /…
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1159 Fighting Canadian inequality

Inequality in Canada: The History and Politics of an Idea by Eric W. Sager Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021 $37.95 / 9780228005803 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Political economists from the 1770s to the 21st century analyze Canadian inequality and ponder how to address it. Most of us know Stephen Leacock as Canada’s foremost humorist…
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1136 Dollar 49 day, Woodward’s

Food Floor: My Woodward’s Days by Margaret Cadwaladr Langley: Madrona Books & Publishing, 2020 $15.95 / 9871999546519 Reviewed by Mary Gale Smith * Margaret Cadwaladr has created a little book of stories that will be of interest to anyone who worked at Woodward’s or in a grocery store, or who buys groceries. It is a…
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