History (Canada)

#256 Bethune: I’m not your man

ESSAY: I’m not your man: Norman Bethune & women by Larry Hannant First published Feb. 28, 2018 * Doctor, medical innovator, propagandist, artist, political activist — Norman Bethune is nothing if not multitalented. The same complexity marks his character. The accounts of friends and acquaintances portray a man whose personality was multifaceted and contradictory, at once…
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#253 The divide of mountains and wine

Surveying the Great Divide: The Alberta/BC Boundary Survey, 1913-1917 by Jay Sherwood Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2017 $29.95  /  9781987915525 Reviewed by Robert Allen First published Feb. 25, 2018 * Retired teacher-librarian at Vanderhoof and past president of the Nechako Valley Historical Society, Jay Sherwood has provided nine indispensable – and overdue — histories and…
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#252 We came, we saw, we skated

First published Feb. 24, 2018. Lace Up: A History of Skates in Canada by Jean-Marie Leduc, with Sean Graham & Julie Leger Victoria: Heritage House Publishing Company, 2017. $19.95  /  9781772032277 Reviewed by David Mills * A photo near the start of Lace-Up: A History of Skates in Canada will be familiar to many Canadians….
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#231 The bane of the British Admiralty

Finding John Rae by Alice Jane Hamilton Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017 $21.95  /  9781553804819 Reviewed by Dylan Burrows First published Jan. 11, 2018 * In Finding John Rae, Alice Jane Hamilton upends the standard narrative of mid-nineteenth century Arctic exploration, focussing not on the vainglorious search for the doomed Franklin Expedition but those left in…
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#228 Reconciliation dances & divides

Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts its History by J.R. (Jim) Miller Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017. $39.95  /  9781487502188 Reviewed by Andrew Woolford First published Dec. 23, 2017 * Projects of justice and reconciliation in a national context are never straightforward affairs. Governments do not wake up one day and decide to deal…
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#226 Rescuing Riel, revising history

First published Dec. 20, 2017. Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done by David Doyle Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017. $24.95  /  978-1-55380-496-3 Reviewed by Max Hamon * Few Canadians have been more misunderstood and controversial than Louis Riel. Now that Canadians are even re-assessing the reputation of our first prime minister, David Doyle’s Louis Riel: Let…
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#223 Starvation Cove & Terror Bay

Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition by Owen Beattie and John Geiger, with a foreword by Wade Davis and an introduction by Margaret Atwood Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2017 (first published by Western Producer Prairie Books, 1988; subsequent editions by Douglas & McIntyre, 1998, and Greystone, 2004 and 2014) $24.95  /  9781771641739 Reviewed…
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#215 Island of Blue Foxes

First published Dec. 7, 2017. Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown (D&M $34.95) tells the story of The Great Northern Expedition which resulted in the mapping of the Arctic Coast of Siberia and large parts of the North American coastline, and the discovery…
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#205 125,000 reluctant patriots

First published Nov. 24 REVIEW: Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War by Patrick M. Dennis Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017. $39.95 9780774835978 Reviewed by Jim Kempling The ongoing centennial review of Canada’s involvement in the First World War continues with Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War, by Patrick Dennis. After three years…
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#199 What the Heckman

Heckman’s Canadian Pacific: A Photographic Journey by Ralph Beaumont, foreword by John Geiger Mississauga, ON: The Credit Valley Railway Company, 2015 $60.00  /  9780978440619 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek First published November 9, 2017 * The Canadian Pacific Railway’s in-house photographer Joseph William Heckman (1854-1937) worked between Nova Scotia and Vancouver Island for three decades, photographing…
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#197 Power to the people

Powering Up Canada A History of Power, Fuel, and Energy from 1600 by Ruth Sandwell (editor) Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016. $37.95  /  9780773547865 Reviewed by Dan Gallacher First published Nov. 7, 2017 Years ago I likened history to a diamond. Each time it is turned in the light, another facet is revealed….
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#196 Batten down the anthology

Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea by Michael L. Hadley and Anita Hadley (editors), with illustrations by Matthew Wolferstan Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017 $36.95  /  9781771621731 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski First published Nov. 6, 2017 * This is an anthology with something like a mission. In “Waypoints,” his foreword to this anthology, historian…
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#195 Remembrance Day, 2017

First published Nov. 5, 2017 A century since Vimy and Passchendaele: Two wars, two families, one message By Howard Macdonald Stewart * For Remembrance Day 2017 we offer a moving reflection by Howard Stewart on war’s impact on his family in the twentieth century. Howard touches on the personal and emotional repercussions on the families…
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#177 Monumental tasks

Commemorating Canada: History, Heritage, and Memory, 1850s-1990s by Cecilia Morgan Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016 $26.95  /  9781442610613 Reviewed by Mike Starr First published October 4, 2017 * Cecilia Morgan’s Commemorating Canada is a good place to start when examining the role of historical commemoration in Canada. The book is part of the Themes in…
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#175 Artist among the Songhees

Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America by Paul Kane, edited and with an introduction by Kenneth Lister Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2016 $39.99  /  9780888545077 Reviewed by Grant Keddie First published October 3, 2017 * Between November 1846 and November 1847, the Irish-Canadian artist Paul Kane (1810-1871) visited the Columbia…
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#174 Lights, camera, action, debate

Tar Wars: Oil, Environment and Alberta’s Image by Geo Takach Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2017 $34.95  /  9781772121407 Reviewed by Nichole Dusyk First published Sept. 29, 2017 * In the first pages of Tar Wars, Geo Takach of Royal Roads University repudiates his own title and coins the term “bit-sands” to refer to the…
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#163 When the rubber hit the road

British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape by Ben Bradley Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017 $34.95  /  9780774834193 Reviewed by Daniel Francis * In 2013 a septet of Canadian historians calling themselves The Past Collective published a study which contradicted the hoary old cliche that Canadians do not know…
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#162 The sisters of war

First published August 30, 2017 REVIEW: War Torn Exchanges: The Lives and Letters of Nursing Sisters Laura Holland and Mildred Forbes by Andrea McKenzie (editor). Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016. $32.95  /  9780774832540 * REVIEW: Sister Soldiers of the Great War: The Nurses of the Canadian Army Medical Corps by Cynthia Toman Vancouver: UBC Press 2016. $34.95  / …
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#160 Keeping parliament current

First published August 28, 2017 REVIEW: Turning Parliament Inside Out: Practical Ideas for Reforming Canada’s Democracy by Michael Chong, Scott Simms, and Kennedy Stewart (editors) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2017. $22.95  / 978-1-77162-137-3 Reviewed by Hamish Telford * By comparison, the current political climate in the United States makes Canada look like Nirvana, but…
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#156 Frostbitten on Canada’s Everest

First published August 16, 2017 REVIEW: Surviving Logan by Erik Bjarnason and Cathi Shaw Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, $28 2016  /  9781771601924 Reviewed by PearlAnn Reichwein   * In Surviving Logan, Erik Bjarnason of North Vancouver and his cousin Cathi Shaw of Summerland have joined with Rocky Mountain Books to produce what reviewer PearlAnn Reichwein…
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