History (world)

1425 Greta, Cassandra, Athena

ESSAY: Greta, Cassandra, Athena: Visions of Justice by Jennifer Moss * Davos, Switzerland. January 25th, 2019: A small, serious, 16-year-old girl in bright purple pants perches on the edge of her chair at the widely televised World Economic Forum. She shuffles her papers for a moment, looks briefly at the camera, and begins with the…
Read more 1425 Greta, Cassandra, Athena

1416 Fascism now and then

Spectres of Fascism: Historical, Theoretical, and International Perspectives by Samir Gandesha (editor) Toronto: Between the Lines Books, 2020 $34.95 / 9781771135016 Reviewed by Stan Markotich * Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini … and Steve Bannon? When I was starting my undergraduate career at Simon Fraser University some 40 years ago, I often heard a joke that…
Read more 1416 Fascism now and then

1408 Under Russian occupation

My Long List of Impossible Things by Michelle Barker Toronto: Annick Press, 2020 $12.95 / 9781773213644 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book is possibly one of the best Second World War books out there right now for Young Adults and is especially pertinent in view of current world events. My Long List of Impossible…
Read more 1408 Under Russian occupation

1393 Yearning for a house in the hills

Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From by Kamal Al-Solaylee Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2021 $32.99 / 9781443456159 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Some books take their readers across vast distances; some through sweeps of time. One of the most remarkable effects of Return, by journalist and author Kamal Al-Solaylee, currently Director of the School…
Read more 1393 Yearning for a house in the hills

1392 A one-man freedom convoy

man@the_airport: How Social Media Saved My Life. One Syrian’s Story by Hassan Al Kontar New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2021 $23.95 / 9781777010188 Reviewed by Daniel Gawthrop * Given the staggering human toll of the civil war in Syria since 2011 — half a million dead, more than six and a half million internally displaced, another…
Read more 1392 A one-man freedom convoy

1388 Restoration of the commons

Civilizing the State: Reclaiming Politics for the Common Good by John Restakis Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2021 $19.99 / 9780865719439 Reviewed by Stan Markotich * The world as we know it is changing and we may be unable to return to anything familiar. With his thought-provoking Civilizing the State: Reclaiming Politics for the Common Good,…
Read more 1388 Restoration of the commons

1365 A journey from South Africa

Race, Culture, and Politics in Education: A Global Journey From South Africa by Kogila Moodley, with an afterword by Sonia Nieto Columbia University: Teachers College Press, 2020 $34.95 (U.S.) / 9780807764886 Reviewed by Isabel Nanton * A successful blend of personal memoir and insights culled from an extensive academic career, Kogila Moodley’s book, which forms…
Read more 1365 A journey from South Africa

1352 I walk, therefore I am

Philosophers’ Walks by Bruce Baugh London and New York: Routledge, 2021 $35.96 (U.S.) / 9780367333133 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Growing up in North Vancouver, Bruce Baugh found himself drawn to taking “long, solitary walks” amongst its “ravines and forests.” During his later extensive studies, he was fascinated to discover that some of the philosophical…
Read more 1352 I walk, therefore I am

Mourning rites in Ancient China

ESSAY: Mourning and Burial Rites in Ancient China: A Grief Process by Dorothy Dittrich * Death is part of life, as are the feelings of grief, sorrow and anxiety that follow the loss of a loved one. While coming to terms with death and coping with loss may be part of living, the feelings that…
Read more Mourning rites in Ancient China

1340 Canada and Vietnam revisited

The Devil’s Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War by John Boyko Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Knopf Canada), 2021 $32.00 / 9780735278004 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart  * Six Easy Pieces. John Boyko has written a compelling, largely anecdotal history of Canada’s involvement in the Americans’ long years of war in Indochina. It consists…
Read more 1340 Canada and Vietnam revisited

1327 Who was Benjamin Lay?

Prophet Against Slavery. Benjamin Lay: A Graphic Novel by David Lester, with Marcus Rediker and Paul Buhle (editors) Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Beacon Press), 2021 $20.00 / 9780807081792 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Who was Benjamin Lay? A radical 18th-century Quaker challenges slavery It is fair to ask who the central figure is in…
Read more 1327 Who was Benjamin Lay?

1326 Witness to Canadian mining

Testimonio: Canadian Mining in the Aftermath of Genocides in Guatemala by Catherine Nolin and Grahame Russell (editors) Toronto: Between the Lines Press, 2021 $29.95  /  9781771135627 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * Catherine Nolin and Grahame Russell both teach in the Geography Department at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George; she’s department…
Read more 1326 Witness to Canadian mining

1301 Goosebumps & unbroken ice

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time by Michael Palin Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Vintage Canada), 2019 $23.00 / 9780735274297 Reviewed by Walter Volovsek * Editor’s note. A vigilant reader of The Ormsby Review might be startled to see Michael Palin’s Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages,…
Read more 1301 Goosebumps & unbroken ice

1280 To end all wars … again

The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering, and Remaking Canada’s Second World War by Tim Cook Toronto: Penguin Random House (Allen Lane), 2020 $25.00 / 9780735238374 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Editor’s note: On previous Remembrance Days at The Ormsby Review we’ve published moving and personal essays and reflections by Michael Sasges, Howard…
Read more 1280 To end all wars … again

1272 Pâtisserie to page-turner

The French Baker’s War by Michael Whatling Vancouver: Mortal Coil Books, 2021 $21.99  /  9781777569921 Please order from your local independent bookstore. Also available in Canada through Amazon, Chapters-Indigo, KOBO, Smashwords, Ingram, LSC, Apple, Google, etc. Reviewed by Valerie Green * Michael Whatling has written a deeply moving Second World War story in The French…
Read more 1272 Pâtisserie to page-turner

1255 Victoria’s religion of the heart

Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown by Michael Ledger-Lomas Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. (Spiritual Lives Series). $40.00 (U.S.) / 9780198753551 Reviewed by Simon Devereaux * This compact, densely written volume fills a surprisingly large gap in the vast biographical literature on Queen Victoria. The Victorian age is well-known for its public religiosity. It was manifest…
Read more 1255 Victoria’s religion of the heart

1242 Architecture, investment, & greed

Icebergs, Zombies and the Ultra Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century by Matthew Soules Hudson, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2021 $26.95 (U.S.) / 9781616899462 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Everyone says many of the same things about real estate. “That view is worth a million dollars.” “If you want to make money, real…
Read more 1242 Architecture, investment, & greed