History (Canada)

1533 On the edge of memoir

Blue Portugal and Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $24.99 / 9781772125993 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * For forty-some-odd years, Theresa Kishkan and her husband, poet John Pass, have been living in a home that they built themselves early in their marriage, on a piece of land half-way up BC’s…
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1527 Turbulence and eruption

Emily Carr, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr by Kathryn Bridge (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772679642 Reviewed by Colin Browne * Turbulence and Eruption: Emily Carr, Unvarnished There’s a scene in Kathryn Bridge’s wonderful collection, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr, that sticks in my mind. It’s June 1936….
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1524 LSD & Hollywood North

The Acid Room: The Psychedelic Trials and Tribulations of Hollywood Hospital by Jesse Donaldson and Erika Dyck Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $18.00 / 9781772141863 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Acid Test in New West: LSD entered the world through the doors of a BC Hospital Before LSD guru Timothy Leary (“tune in, turn on and…
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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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1512 Aircrew of Bomber Command

Failed to Return: Canada’s Bomber Command Sacrifice in the Second World War by Keith C. Ogilvie Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $26.95 / 9781772033816 Reviewed by Rod Szasz * RCAF Halifax bomber LL178 ploughed into the high Yorkshire moor disintegrating with its nine crew on a cold December night in 1944. Off course and in poor visibility…
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1507 A decolonization manifesto

Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call, Second Edition by Arthur Manuel and Ronald M. Derrickson, with a foreword by Naomi Klein Toronto: Between the Lines, 2021 (first published 2016) $29.95 / 9781771135566 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call has been called a roadmap to action for Indigenous peoples in Canada…
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1497 Tribute to Julian Wake

A tribute to Julian Wake by Richard Mackie and others * It’s a pleasure to provide this tribute to Julian Wake, a friend to me and many others between his arrival in BC in 1966 and his death on January 16, 2022. In recent years Julian embarked on a late career as a book reviewer…
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1494 A Cree hero’s journey

Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2018 $29.95 / 9781771622004 Reviewed by Heather Simeney MacLeod * Editor’s note: From time to time we get our wires crossed at The BC Review, or — very rarely — a publisher sends the reviewer the wrong book or kindly…
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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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1484 Edward Feuz, alpine legend

Edward Feuz Jr.: A Story of Enchantment by D.L. Stephen Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2021 $28.00 / 9781771605090 Reviewed by Ron Dart * Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. — John Muir (quoted in Edward Feuz Jr., p. 277) The Canadian mountaineering tradition has its layered origins in the role of the CPR…
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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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1480 Forty visions of Canada

Inspiring Canadians: Forty Brilliant Canadians and their Visions for the Nation by Mark Bulgutch, with a foreword by Peter Mansbridge Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $24.95 / 9781771623148 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * If Inspiring Canadians’ title doesn’t already mark this book as upbeat, both Mansbridge’s preface, centred on a touching anecdote from his…
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