History (Canada)

1658 Wheel out the big guns

Cannon in Canada, Province by Province. Volume 5: British Columbia by Harold Skaarup Fredericton: Global Summit House/ Silverhawk, 2021 $29.99  /  9781956515657 Reviewed by David Morgan * The number and variety of vintage cannon preserved in British Columbia is surprising. Harold Skaarup of Fredericton has documented some 58 in his recent book, Cannon in Canada,…
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1657 Unresolved in Weyburn

Darkness at the Edge of Town by Stan Rogal Montreal: Guernica Editions, 2022 $20.00 / 9781771836975 Reviewed by Bill Paul * Taking place in the town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Stan Rogal’s Darkness at the Edge of Town follows the psycho-sexual odyssey of young man in his late twenties, a misfit and hell-raiser named Ray. The…
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1649 BC’s undersea adventurers

Deep, Dark & Dangerous: The Story of British Columbia’s World-class Undersea Technology Industry by Vickie Jensen Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $36.95 / 9781550179200 Reviewed by Dave Flawse * In 1967, when a few cash-strapped Canadians towed their newly built manned-submersible from Vancouver to Washington State, biologists at the University of Washington got the chance…
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1643 The politics of provincehood

British Columbia in the Balance, 1846-1871 by Jean Barman Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $36.95 / 9781550179880 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A Governor, a Bishop and a Lady: BC History’s Exciting Cast of Characters Tell Us How It All Began I recently spend a chilly morning visiting the Parliament Buildings in Victoria in search…
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1638 Regulating opiates & opioids

Heroin: An Illustrated History by Susan Boyd Winnipeg and Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 2022 $34.00 / 9781773635163 Reviewed by Connor Robinson * Susan Boyd’s Heroin: An Illustrative History is a timely and illuminative record of how heroin, and opiates/opioids at large, moved from a drug with continued therapeutic relevance to a political tool for demonization…
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1627 Enterprise on Malcolm Island

We Work Together for the Benefit of All: The Story of Malcolm Island’s Socialist Collective, 1901-1905, A Translation of Matti Halminen’s Sointula by Matti Halminen, edited by Heather Graham and Merja Tammi Sointula: Sointula Museum and Historical Society, 2021 $35.00 /  9780994926913 Please note: this book can be obtained from Sointula Museum by visiting in…
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1624 Schools of thought

Lessons in Legitimacy: Colonialism, Capitalism, and the Rise of State Schooling in British Columbia by Sean Carleton Vancouver: UBC Press, 2022 $89.95   / 9780774868075 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * With its sardonic title, Lessons in Legitimacy exemplifies an activist genre of history that has emerged in Canada following the revelations and recommendations of the…
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1619 The thing about snow

You Might Be Sorry You Read This by Michelle Poirier Brown Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $19.99 / 9781772126037 Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore * In many cases, the titles for books of poetry come from the poems themselves, whether a title of one or a line from within one. In Michelle Poirier Brown’s…
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1618 Goaltender, heal thyself

The Save of My Life: My Journey Out of the Dark by Corey Hirsch, with Sean Patrick Conboy Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $32.99 / 9781443461092 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * It must be hard to write a good topical hockey book these days. The goalposts, as it were, keep shifting on the zeitgeist as Canada’s…
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1617 Love in vile places

Love in Vile Places: Military Hospitals as the Site of Care and Nurture by Jo-Anne Fiske * For Remembrance Day 2022 we present a memoir by Jo-Anne Fiske of Fraser Lake, in BC’s north-central interior, of her father Humphrey William Fiske (1886-1959). At the time of his enlistment in Kelowna in 1916, the Norfolk-born Fiske…
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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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1610 A star map to higher ground

Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2021 $32.00 / 9781553799351 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * When my friend, author, singer and educator Karen Lee White went north to celebrate the life of a beloved elder, the family women braided her long silver hair. “That is your…
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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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1600 Parents, lock the door

Don’t Call It A Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM by Sarah Berman Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Viking), 2021 $24.95  /  9780735237896 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Be Afraid for Your Daughters: Parents lock the door, if you can, on predators bearing false promise of enlightenment What do…
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1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

Séjour Saint-Louis by Reed Stirling Airdrie, Alberta: BWL [Books We Love] Publishing, 2021 $22.00  /  9780228617488 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Cowichan Bay painter and writer Reed Stirling has published three works in as many years, following up a literary mystery and a “fictional memoir” with an atmospheric novel that is heavily and overtly influenced…
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1598 All together now

Namwayut: We Are All One. A Pathway to Reconciliation by Chief Robert Joseph Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2022 $29.95  /  9781774580059 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * At last, the building, its outline terrorizing The Bay or Yalis, the community framed by open legs, both sides of the water which feeds the people, has come down….
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1596 A many-coloured coat

Two Pieces of Cloth: One Family’s Story of the Holocaust by Joe Gold Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2021 $21.95 / 9781989603826 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The vast literature of the Holocaust occupies various and distinct chambers in our latter-day imagination. First there are the historical documents which recorded or later reconstructed the names and…
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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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1586 Touching down in the past

305 Lost Buildings of Canada by Raymond Biesinger & Alex Bozikovic Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2022 $22.95 /  9781773102368 Reviewed by Martin Segger * What do we do about dead buildings? In our own time do they just sort of fade in community memory, like the guy in the office several cubicles down the hall…
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1583 Blowing the dust away

Beneath the Coal Dust: Historical Journeys Through the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass by Wayne Norton Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00 / 9781773860923 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Blowing the Dust Away: A historian digs out unique local stories that shed light on our national history Wayne Norton is a master of footnote history….
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