Politics & labour

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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1530 Fight fire with … foresight

First Nations Wildfire Evacuations: A Guide for Communities and External Agencies by Tara K. McGee, Amy Cardinal Christianson, and First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $25.00 / 9780774880664 Reviewed by Kim Naqvi * This concise, clear guide for wildfire evacuations in First Nations communities is more than just practical, informative, and accessible…
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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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1513 History matters: Meares Island

Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound by Barry Gough Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021 $26.95 / 9781550179576 Reviewed by Jason M. Colby * Barry Gough opens his newest book with a phone call that he received in early 1986. On the other end of the line was Jack Woodward,…
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1507 A decolonization manifesto

Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call, Second Edition by Arthur Manuel and Ronald M. Derrickson, with a foreword by Naomi Klein Toronto: Between the Lines, 2021 (first published 2016) $29.95 / 9781771135566 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call has been called a roadmap to action for Indigenous peoples in Canada…
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1505 Vancouver’s neighbourhood hubs

Neighbourhood Houses: Building Community in Vancouver by Miu Chung Yan and Sean Lauer (editors), with a foreword by David Hulchanski Vancouver, UBC Press, 2021 $32.95 / 9780774865821 Reviewed by Jennifer Chutter * The text opens with a compelling question: “What would it be like to live in a welcoming community?” It is a provocative start…
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1498 A politician for all seasons

Using Power Well: Bob Williams and the Making of British Columbia by Bob Williams with Benjamin Isitt and Thomas Bevan Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2022 $22.95  /   9780889714243 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * A Man for All Political Seasons: meet the creator of ICBC, the land reserve and an improved Downtown Eastside If B.C. ever had…
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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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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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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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