Politics & labour

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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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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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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1421 A border outrage, 1884

Deadly Neighbours: Colonialism, Cattle Feuds, Murder and Vigilantes in a Far West Valley by Chad Reimer Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $26.00 / 9781773860732 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * White settler injustice: racial tensions fuelled by two sets of laws, one white and the other First Nations  I’m a sucker for old dusters. The westerns…
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1419 Letter from Victoria

ESSAY: Letter from Victoria by Larry Hannant * If I were a baseball player, I’d be rated as a respectable batter if I had an average equal to the percentage of my letters to the Times Colonist in Victoria that get printed. About one in three bypasses the editor’s bullshit filter and appears in the…
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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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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…
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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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1409 Fifty years of Daniel Wood

Tales of B.C.: 50 Years of Wacky, Wild, & Thought-provoking Adventures by Daniel Wood Vancouver: OP Media Group, 2021 $24.95 / 9781777876401 Reviewed by Bill Engleson * I was delighted when Richard Mackie offered me the opportunity to write a review of the late Daniel Wood’s last book, an anthology of essays that captures several…
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1405 Colonialism corrective

TELEVISION DOCUSERIES REVIEW: British Columbia: An Untold History by Kevin Eastwood, Writer and Director Burnaby: British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, 2022 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * Knowledge Network, ‘British Columbia’s public educational broadcaster,’ has produced a compelling documentary series entitled British Columbia: An Untold History. The production qualities are superb. Each episode of the four-part…
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1396 The reputational arms race

Global University Rankings and The Politics of Knowledge by Michelle Stack (editor) Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2021 $32.95 /  9781487523398 Reviewed by D.G. Marshall * Rankings. North American consumers are obsessed with rankings. We rank things — cars, putters, TVs, computers, lingerie, bicycles, hiking boots, lightbulbs. We rank food and drink — macaroni, beer,…
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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,…
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1385 A Royal Commission DOA

Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future: The Legacy of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples by Katherine A.H. Graham and David Newhouse (editors) Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2021 $31.95  /  9780887558689 Reviewed by Jim Miller * Harry Swain, the deputy minister of Indian and Northern Affairs when the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples [RCAP]…
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