History (Canada)

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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1476 The driving force

The Famous Five: Canada’s Crusaders for Women’s Rights by Barbara Smith Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $9.95 / 9781772032338 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In this very important book, Barbara Smith tells the in-depth stories of five women — Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Henrietta Muir Edwards — who collectively changed history…
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1473 Hearts across hemispheres

Under the Nakba Tree: fragments of a Palestinian family in Canada by Mowafa Said Househ Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2021 $24.99 / 9781771992039 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * “A nation now deemed to be imaginary, a nation blamed for its stubborn refusal to acquiesce in its own destruction.” Wasn’t that Vladimir Putin’s excuse for invading…
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1471 In search of a deeper meaning

Wilson Duff: Coming Back, A Life by Robin Fisher Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $39.95 / 9781550179750 Reviewed by Rob Hancock * A casual observer might be surprised to learn that Wilson Duff’s life had been the subject of two operas and a novel before the first full-length biography was written about him. On the one…
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1467 Background to Bella Coola

Writing the Empire: The McIlwraiths, 1853-1948 by Eva-Marie Kröller Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021 $110.00 / 9781487507572 Reviewed by Robert Hogg * In her story of the McIlwraith family, Scottish immigrants to Australia and Canada, Eva-Marie Kröller illuminates the lives of the members of a nineteenth century middle-class family, albeit one with its peculiarities…
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1466 A dozen kinds of hiding

Sounds from Silence: Reflections of a Child Holocaust Survivor, Psychiatrist and Teacher by Robert Krell Amsterdam: Amsterdam Publishers, 2021 $21.95 (U.S.) / 9493231488 Reviewed by Peter Hay * From the outside, Robert Krell’s memoirs present us with a man of great humanity who, after a long and distinguished career in medicine and psychiatry, has been…
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1464 Chinatown settlers and letters

Occupying Chinatown by Paul Wong Vancouver: On Main Gallery, 2021 $80.00 / 9780969477778 Reviewed by May Q Wong * In this limited-edition clothbound book, the reader will share a personal journey with world-renowned artist Paul Wong, who pays homage to his mother and family, and by extension, the early Chinese immigrants who established Vancouver’s Chinatown….
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1460 Trainspotting in the Kootenays

When Trains Ruled the Kootenays: A Short History of Railways in Southeastern British Columbia by Terry Gainer Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $25.00  /  9781771604017 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Trainspotting in the Kootenays: Did we miss the train as a better way to travel in the 21st century? When I was a kid growing…
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1452 Scuttling Solidarity, 1983

Solidarity: Canada’s Unknown Revolution of 1983 by David Spaner Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781553806387 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Solidarity erupted in the very month I arrived in BC. I went straight from a moving van to the streets of Van. For me, Solidarity’s Empire Stadium rally on 10 August was a thrilling…
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1450 A true believer

Paradise Road: A Memoir by Marilyn Kriete Atlanta, GA: Lucid House Publishing, 2021 $22.95  /  9781950495115 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A True Believer: A young woman’s troubled bicycle odyssey ends with a religious tract Remember your reaction when there was a knock at your door and you answered it only to find two nicely…
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1441 Oh, the good new hockey game

Overcoming the Neutral Zone Trap: Hockey’s Agents of Change by Cheryl A. MacDonald and Jonathon R.J. Edwards (editors) Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2021 $34.99 / 9781772125795 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * To anyone who watches the game with a critical eye, it should not come as news that the mainstream hockey establishment suffers from…
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1436 The northern precedent

Lewis & Clark Reframed: Examining Ties to Cook, Vancouver and Mackenzie by David L. Nicandri, with a foreword by Clay S. Jenkinson Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2020 $32.95 (US) / 9780874223804 Reviewed by Barry M. Gough * Long before the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with all its patronizing by Steven…
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1434 Kootenay mother lode

Silver Rush: British Columbia’s Silvery Slocan, 1891-1900 by Peter J. Smith Ladysmith: Two Daughters Publications, 2020. Also available at many BC bookstores. $39.95  /  9781999045906 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Kootenay Mother Lode: Mammoth Tome offers Detailed Account of Mining History in BC’s Colourful Slocan District A book the size of the old Eaton’s Catalogue…
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1431 A naval labour of love

Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer in His Own Words, 1916-1929 by John Crispo Inglis “Dutchy” Edwards, edited by Helen Edwards [Victoria]: Helen Edwards, 2020 $29.50  /  9780969728252 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Helen Edwards, a well-known heritage professional researcher in Victoria, has achieved a work of immense importance to naval history in…
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1428 Unfinished treaty business

To Share, Not Surrender: Indigenous and Settler Views of Treaty Making in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia by Peter Cook, Neil Vallance, John Lutz, Graham Brazier, and Hamar Foster (editors) Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $37.95  /  9780774863834 Reviewed by Robin Fisher * The Douglas Treaties on Vancouver Island that were “negotiated” in…
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1420 Answering the TRC call

Sky Wolf’s Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger Toronto: Annick Press, 2022 $24.95  /  9781773216300 Reviewed by Kristina Hannis * We call upon the Federal, provincial, and territorial governments in consultation with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators to: Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical…
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1418 Old time labour history

Smelter Wars: A Rebellious Trade Union Fights for Its Life in Wartime Western Canada by Ron Verzuh Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2022 $34.95 / 9781487541125 Reviewed by Bryan D. Palmer * Old Time Labour History; or About Underwear as the Subject of Working-Class Politics Labour history was once all the rage. Less so now….
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1411 A constabulary for women

Vancouver’s Women in Blue: Trailblazers of the Vancouver Police Department, 1904-1975 by Carolyn J. Daley, with a foreword by Bev Busson Maple Bay: Ruddy Duck Press, 2020 $49.95 / 9781999279202 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * “I don’t remember the first time I drew my gun.” That’s one way to grab the reader’s attention. It’s the…
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