Politics & labour

#807 North Pacific Imperial Gothic

The Birdcages: British Columbia’s First Legislative Buildings, 1859-1957 by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor Victoria: FriesenPress Publishing, 2020 $16.99 / 9781525547041 Reviewed by Martin Segger * This handsome, generously illustrated volume is essentially the biography of a building. Building biographies, multi-disciplinary by nature and ranging across the architectural, social , and cultural historical genres, are all too…
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#792 Fine words butter no parsnips

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F. Joseph Vancouver: Page Two Books, 2019, distributed by Raincoast Books $19.95 / 9781989025642 Reviewed by David Milward * What does Indigenous reconciliation in Canada mean? Almost five years have elapsed since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada…
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770 Fractured fidelities

The Kissing Fence by B.A. Thomas-Peter Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781773860237 Reviewed by William New * This novel tells the connected stories of two boys. One grows up in the 1950s, but his entire life is damaged when he is forced away from his Doukhobor home and placed in a Kootenay residential…
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#760 Follow the faithful black cat

Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada c0-authored by the Graphic History Collective, with Althea Balmes, Gord Hill, Orion Keresztesi, and David Lester Toronto: Between the Lines, 2019 $14.95 / 9781771134170 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Follow the Black Cat: How to bring history back to people who flunked…
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#746 An early Indigenous advocate

The Fourth World: An Indian Reality by George Manuel and Michael Posluns (foreword by Vine Deloria Jr., afterword by Doreen Manuel, introduction by Glen Coulthard) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019 (first published by Collier Macmillan Canada, 1974) $24.95 (U.S.) / 9781517906061 Reviewed by Chris Arnett * When I taught in the First Nations studies…
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#745 The secret spy of Salt Spring

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton London: St. Martin’s Press, 2019. Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books Reviewed by Julian Wake * When I first read Eric Roberts’ Salt Spring Saga, someone here on Salt Spring — my home — told me that he had been an important…
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#740 Bocce Ball & colonialism

On This Patch of Grass: City Parks on Occupied Land by Daisy Couture, Sadie Couture, Selena Couture, & Matt Hern, with a foreword by Denise Ferreira da Silva, a forward! by Glen Coulthard, & illustrations by Erick Villagomez Black Point, NS, and Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing, 2018 $30.00 / 9781773630700 Reviewed by Marina La Salle…
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#730 Marking the Great Divide

Surveying the 120th Meridian and the Great Divide: The Alberta-BC Boundary Survey, 1918-1924 by Jay Sherwood Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9781773860091 Reviewed by Keith Regular * Editor’s note: see also Robert Allen’s review of this book’s predecessor, Surveying the Great Divide: The Alberta/BC Boundary Survey, 1913-1917 (Caitlin Press, 2017) in The Ormsby…
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#719 A perpetual real estate fizz

Land of Destiny: A History of Vancouver Real Estate by Jesse Donaldson Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2019 $20.00 / 9781772141443 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy * Donaldson’s thesis is simple: “The history of Vancouver is the history of real estate” (p. 5). He persuasively argues that Vancouver has had housing crises almost continuously since its founding…
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#718 Bare-knuckle boxing on ice

Major Misconduct: The Human Cost of Fighting in Hockey by Jeremy Allingham, with a foreword by Daniel Carcillo Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019 $22.95 /  9781551527710 Reviewed by Timothy Lewis * If you’re an ardent supporter of Canada’s recently deposed elder statesman of hockey commentary — Don Cherry — and his championing of fighting in…
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#685 Tracking the Komagata Maru

Voices of Komagata Maru: Imperial Surveillance and Workers from Punjab in Bengal by Suchetana Chattopadhyay New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2018; New York: Columbia University Press, 2019 $35.00 (U.S.) / 9788193401583 Reviewed by Larry Hannant * Many Canadians became aware of the name Komagata Maru only in 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, still in his…
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#664 Bring cash and raincoat

The Survival Guide to British Columbia by Ian Ferguson Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $19.95 / 9781772032840 Reviewed by Patricia E. Roy * The Survival Guide to British Columbia offers some useful information about the province but it is unlike a Boy Scout handbook or a Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture publication. Ian Ferguson seeks…
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#657 Government House calling

The Lieutenant Governors of British Columbia by Jenny Clayton, with a foreword by Janet Austin Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178647 Reviewed by Patrick A. Dunae * The Office of the Lieutenant Governor is perhaps best known to the public for its pageantry. But it has an important constitutional function. It was created…
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#655 The Gladue rights revolution

Implicating the System: Judicial Discourses in the Sentencing of Indigenous Women by Elspeth Kaiser-Derrick Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780887558283 Reviewed by David Milward * The crisis of Indigenous over-incarceration in Canada remains an ongoing issue of national importance. Statistical estimates as of 2016 are that Indigenous inmates amount to 27% of…
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#644 The Canadian genocide

The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation by David B. MacDonald Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781487522698 Reviewed by David Milward * When one hears the word “genocide,” it is easy to instantly think of the Holocaust and then not take it any further than that. As…
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#629 Wet’suwet’en land & revival

Song of the Earth: The Life of Alfred Joseph by Ross Hoffman with Alfred Joseph Smithers: Creekstone Press, 2019 $21.95 / 9781928195054 Reviewed by Diana French * Song of the Earth is the story of Alfred Joseph, a long time Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief, a respected “knowledge holder” of the Nation’s history, an artist, teacher, and…
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#628 Myths, Mounties, and Métis

Sam Steele: A Biography by Rod Macleod Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2018 $35.99 / 9781772123791 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * There’s a CBC Heritage Minute about Sam Steele. You may have seen it. A stern, moustachioed Mountie sits at his rough wooden desk, staring down an excitable American prospector who wants to wear pistols…
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#619 Government knows best

Moved by the State: Forced Relocation and Making a Good Life in Postwar Canada by Tina Loo Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780774861014 Reviewed by LiLynn Wan * Moved by the State is a comparative history of forced relocation and development in five regions in Canada from the 1950s to the 1970s. In some…
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#604 BC Hydro’s destructive legacy

Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in the Age of Colour Photography by Kyle Kusch Nakusp: Arrow Lakes Historical Society, 2019 $30.00 /  9780969423683 Reviewed by Duff Sutherland * In Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in the Age of Colour Photography, Kyle Kusch presents 350 colour photographs from the collection of Nakusp’s Arrow Lakes…
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