History (Canada)

1927 Impossiblist Maverick

Class Warrior: The Selected Works of E.T. Kingsley by Benjamin Isitt and Ravi Malhotra (eds.) Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2022 $34.95  /  9781778290046 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Chances are you’ve never heard of Eugene Thornton (E.T.) Kingsley. Chances are also good that if you had heard of him you might not like him or…
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1923 A complex path to justice

The Fierce: The Untold Story of the Teenager Who Took on the Worst War Criminal Living in America by Judy Piercey Cheltenham, UK: The History Press, 2023 £20.05  /  9781803991153 Reviewed by Peter Hay * The Holocaust was not a single event, confined to a singular city or country, nor was it caused by one…
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1916 Migratory Filipinos scraping by in Osoyoos, Sarnia, and Iqaluit

Reuniting with Strangers By Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $22.95 / 9781771623582 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio has written an engaging novel that tells the stories of the reunification of Filipino caregiver families over one Canadian winter. She has done this in an engaging and most unique way; not simply…
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1912 Fire, ash, and regrowth

Before Combustion By Nicholas Bradley Kentville: Gaspereau Press, 2023 $23.95 / 9871554472543 Reviewed by Marguerite Pigeon * The title of Nicholas Bradley’s new book, Before Combustion, is drawn from a line in his poem, “Self-portrait in Lycra Skinsuit,” where the poet considers a schism in his cyclist persona. There’s the familiar self who, enveloped in…
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1910 What’s in a name?

Canada’s Place Names & How to Change Them by Lauren Beck Montreal: Concordia University Press, 2022 $34.95  /  9781988111391 Reviewed by Jeff Oliver * Is it possible to read a nation’s history through its place names? Lauren Beck’s new book Canada’s Place Names & How to Change Them makes a compelling case for it. This…
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1907 The legacy of a shipwright

Called by the North: Extraordinary Adventures of the Fur Trade, Shipbuilders, Navigators and Traders in Northwestern Canada and Alaska by George H.S. Duddy Maryland: Heritage Books, 2022 $44.95  /  97807884240097 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * This book is an extraordinary feat of research and writing. It is especially significant as the Arctic has become the…
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1906 The undoing of Lenny Ovitz 

The Get: A Crime Novel By Dietrich Kalteis Toronto, ON: ECW Press, 2023 $26.95 / 9781770416840 Reviewed by Bill Paul * It’s 1965 and two street-wise Jewish hoods in Toronto, Lenny Ovitz and Gabe Zoller, hope to make bundles of money investing in a run-down tenement block near St. James Town. They’ve caught “wind that…
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1903 Corporate media bad guys

The Postmedia Effect: How Vulture Capitalism is Wrecking Our News by Marc Edge Vancouver: New Star Books, 2023 $25.00  /  9781554201976 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Notice how your local newspaper isn’t quite what it used to be? Maybe there are fewer local news stories reported. Maybe it’s no longer serving as a watchdog at…
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1894 Notes on grief

The All + Flesh By Brandi Bird  Toronto: House of Anansi, 2023 $16.99 / 9781487011826 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * We are all changed. Plague and pestilence have left many of us in a state of grief, our innocence lost, experience teaching us the perils of hubris. As usual, prayer translates to poetry as our…
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1887 Truly madly deeply

Quality Time By Suzannah Showler Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2023 $24.95 / 9780771003684 Reviewed by Bill Paul * Quality Time is a romantic comedy about a young couple madly in love and living in Toronto during Rob Ford’s era as mayor. Lydie and Nico (short for Nicolas) are discovering the myriad pleasures and worries that…
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1880 Small place, big story

Sheltering in the Backrush: A History of Twin Islands by Jeanette Taylor Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781990776113 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jeanette Taylor begins her book with the words: “Twin Islands, a private retreat just off the entrance to Desolation Sound Marine Park, is a small place with a big…
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1874 Bridge River Gold

Voices from Bridge River: The Bridge River Hydroelectric Projects, the People Who Built Them, and the Lives They Touched by BC Hydro Power Pioneers with Kerry Gold Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2022 $29.95  /  9781773271071 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * With her caustic wit and outspoken opinions, local newspaper publisher Ma [Margaret] Murray put BC’s…
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1870 Mack Laing in Alaska

Capturing the Summit: Hamilton Mack Laing and the Mount Logan Expedition of 1925 by Trevor Marc Hughes Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2023 $24.95  /  9781553806806 Reviewed by Sage Birchwater * When naturalist/cinematographer Hamilton Mack Laing was commissioned by the National Museum of Canada to accompany the expedition making the first ascent of Mount Logan in 1925,…
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1868 An inconvenient tale of Ukraine

Ukrainian Scorpions: A Tale of Larceny and Greed by Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson Toronto: ECW Press, 2023 $28.95  /  9781770415676 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Their proxy war in Ukraine against Russia floundering, the Western War Heads have been able to retain their mastery only on one crucial front line – propaganda. At least…
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