Military & War

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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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…
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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…
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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…
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1308 Attaboy: a life of Muggins

Muggins: The Life and Afterlife of a Canadian Canine War Hero by Grant Hayter-Menzies, with a foreword by Mark Zuehlke Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $22.95 / 9781772033717 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Writing a book totally devoted to a dog is a difficult task but Grant Hayter-Menzies has it down to a fine art. In Muggins:…
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1304 Blunt portraits & candid memoir

All the Rage: A Partial Memoir in Two Acts and a Prologue by Brad Fraser Toronto: Penguin Random House (Doubleday Canada), 2021 $34.00 / 9780385696371 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * One of the recurring delights of All the Rage is a multi-faceted storytelling technique that reserves a little something for everybody. Whether Brad Fraser…
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1301 Goosebumps and unbroken ice

Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time by Michael Palin Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Viking; US edition), 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…
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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…
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1193 From Scapa Flow to Lord Byng

In Action with Destroyers 1939-1945: the Wartime Memoirs of Commander J.A.J. Dennis, DSC, RN by J.A.J. Dennis (author) and Anthony Cumming (editor) Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Maritime, 2017 £19.99 (U.K.) / 9781526718495 Reviewed by Michael L. Hadley * BC books and authors offer a rich palette of local and international perspectives. They…
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1191 A walk into the past

Painted Fences by Sara Cassidy, illustrated by Sydney Barnes Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $19.95 / 9781772033519 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Sara Cassidy’s children’s book Painted Fences is an excellent way of offering a delightful story within a story for young children ages 8 to 12. At the same time it teaches them about the…
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1150 Personalities of the Western Front

Heard Amid the Guns: True Stories from the Western Front, 1914-1918 by Jacqueline Larson Carmichael Victoria: Heritage House, 2020 $26.95 / 9781772033373 Reviewed by Alan Livingstone MacLeod * Jacqueline Larson Carmichael’s Heard Amid the Guns is a book inspired by her two granddads, each a soldier of the First World War who survived. The author…
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1146 Mission to Quetzaltenango

Leading at the Edge: True Tales From Canadian Police in Peacebuilding and Peacekeeping Missions Around the World by Ben J.S. Maure Vancouver: Ben Maure, 2020 $29.95 / 9780995034303 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * The Canadian military has, since 1954, participated in missions that support peace and stability around the world. In fact, it has…
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1115 An artist in the wreckage of war

I Can Only Paint: The Story of Battlefield Artist Mary Riter Hamilton by Irene Gammel Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2020 $49.95 / 9780228003915 Reviewed by Robert Amos * Mary Riter Hamilton was a Canadian artist born in Culross, Ontario in 1867. Following a difficult childhood she was married at 21 and widowed at…
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1095 Iniquity on the Gulf Islands

As if They Were the Enemy: The Dispossession of Japanese Canadians on Saltspring Island by Brian Smallshaw Victoria: University of Victoria, 2020 $24.95  /  9781550586671 (available at UVic bookstore for $24.95 plus shipping costs, or direct from b@pixelmap.ca for $26.00 including postage) Reviewed by Marie Elliott * Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December…
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