History (world)

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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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 First there are the historical documents which recorded or later reconstructed the names and…
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1574 From Kelowna to Casablanca

Meet Me in Cairo: Tales of Hitchin’ in the ’60s by Jim Kerr Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2022 $26.95 / 9781989467527 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Jim Kerr’s story of hitch hiking around North America, Europe, North Africa, and the Levant is truly a tale from another age. An era when one could count…
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1558 Animal farms

Animal Traffic: Lively Capital in the Global Exotic Pet Trade by Rosemary-Claire Collard Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2020 $24.95 (U.S.) / 9781478010920 Reviewed by Susan Nance * The traffic in wild and captive-bred exotic animals is estimated to be the world’s fourth largest illegal trade—after drugs, human trafficking, and counterfeit products — in…
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1553 All that flickered

Hollywood in the Klondike: Dawson City’s Great Film Find by Michael Gates Madeira Park, Harbour Publishing, 2022 $34.95 / 9781550179965 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * All that Flickered: The glitter of gold competed with the flicker of silent movies in 1890s Klondike You can almost taste the rotgut liquor and smell the sweat, cheap cigars…
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1547 Grannies glue the text

China’s Grandmothers. Gender, Family and Ageing from Late Qing to Twenty-First Century by Diana Lary Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022 $33.95 / 9781009064781 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * In a China-West binary, Diana Lary, Professor Emerita of Modern Chinese History at the University of British Columbia, blends in her latest — and she says her…
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1543 Photos & letters of Tim Gidal

Two books reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb: Gidal: The Unusual Friendship of Yosef Wosk and Tim Gidal, Letters and Photos by Alan Twigg (editor) Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $39.95 / 9781771623025 * Memories of Jewish Poland: The 1932 Photographs of Nachum Tim Gidal by Yosef Wosk and Nachum Tim Gidal Jerusalem: Gefen Books, 2020…
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1542 A class war of words

Dissenting Traditions: Essays on Bryan D. Palmer, Marxism, and History by Sean Carleton, Ted McCoy, and Julia Smith (editors) Edmonton: Athabasca University Press, 2021 $37.99 / 9781771993111 Reviewed by Dennis Pilon Dissenting Traditions is available for free download as a PDF, or for purchase as a print or ebook, from the AU Press website *…
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1535 An English chambermaid

Queasy: a wannabe writer’s bumpy journey through England in the ’70s by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781772141894 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * “There be dragons,” warn words in the corners of some old maps. The warning is really, of course, an invitation both to the intrepid to investigate remote lands and…
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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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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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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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1504 Lisa: a ray of hope

Close to the Bone: A Memoir by Lisa Ray Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Doubleday Canada), 2020 $24.95 / 9780385695725 Reviewed by Gurpreet Singh * A powerful memoir by a multifaceted personality, a supermodel, an actor, a cancer survivor, a traveller and a born writer restores faith in life and humanity in these difficult times….
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1487 The uncomfortable in-between

Afterlight: In Search of Poetry, History, and Home by Isa Milman Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $24.95 / 9781772033830 Reviewed by Christopher Levenson * What do we expect of a memoir? Henry James famously referred to the novel as “a great baggy monster,” but the memoir, unconstrained by the exigencies of plot and character development, can…
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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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1477 A book was the least I could do

From Nazneen to Naina: 20 years of Kareena Kapoor Khan in Bollywood by Gurpreet Singh Ludhiana, India: Chetna Parkashan, 2021 $14.99 (US) / 9789391530433 Reviewed by Harpreet Singh Sekha * A unique book on Bollywood Diva that showcases what India is going through under a right wing regime BC-based author and journalist Gurpreet Singh has…
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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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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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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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