Politics & labour

#603 Deep time to time slipping away

The Nature of Canada by Colin M. Coates and Graeme Wynn (editors) Vancouver: UBC Press [On Point Press],2019 $29.95 / 9780774890366 Reviewed by Jenny Clayton * A collaborative effort by some of the leading scholars in the field, The Nature of Canada offers a fresh look at Canadian environmental history. Wishing to showcase research supported…
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#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
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#590 Mission to skid row

In His Steps: The Life and Times of Wilberforce Cooper, Vancouver’s Skid Road Priest by Peter J. Cooper Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 2019 $27.68 / 9781525544545 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * St. James’s Anglican Church presides over Vancouver’s Downtown East Side — presides over but does not loom over. Described as simultaneously Byzantine, Gothic Revival, and…
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#580 The power behind the P.M.

At the Centre of Government: The Prime Minister and the Limits of Political Power by Ian Brodie Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018 $34.95 / 9780773552906 Reviewed by Hamish Telford * A political scientist by training, Ian Brodie served as Stephen Harper’s first chief of staff, 2006-08, and he is now a professor of…
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#575 The late, great, James Teit

At the Bridge: James Teit and An Anthropology of Belonging by Wendy Wickwire Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780774861526 Reviewed by Daniel Marshall * In my travels as an historian over the years through the communities of the southern B.C. Interior, I have heard two names repeatedly in conversations with regard to the history…
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#570 Rolf Knight (1936-2019)

Rolf Knight (1936-2019) An obituary by Alan Twigg * Born on March 4, 1936, the son of an itinerant cook, Rolf Knight grew up in remote B.C. logging camps, without other children to play with. He gained his M.A. in anthropology at UBC in 1962, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1968. For decades…
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#565 The Germans are here

Harold Rhenisch reviews two books: Through the Whirlpool: Swept Up in the Nazi Apocalypse by Karl Koerber CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2019 $15.85 / 9781718958524 * In Other Words: A German-Canadian Story by Norbert Ruebsaat CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017 $16.20 / 9781547129027 *                      …
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#550 From sawmills to EcoDensity

Vancouverism by Larry Beasley, with a prologue by Frances Bula Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $39.95 / 9780774890311 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Anyone looking for evidence of Vancouver’s essential weirdness could consider these two events: in 2005, a mayor named Sam Sullivan personally trademarked the term “EcoDensity” for a style of highrise development; and, five years later,…
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#539 Ryga Award acceptance

Ryga Award acceptance speech by Rod Mickleburgh * The notion that workers should collectivize to support one another and prevent exploitation is increasingly viewed as arcane in the Age of Tweets. The Winnipeg General Strike happened 100 years—and few Canadians can tell you what it was, and what happened. Society barely bats an eye as…
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#532 The death of Robert Dziekanski

Blamed and Broken: The Mounties and the Death of Robert Dziekanski by Curt Petrovich Toronto: Dundurn, 2019 $20.99 / 9781459742932 Reviewed by Bonnie Reilly Schmidt First published April 19, 2019 * On October 14, 2007, Robert Dziekanski arrived in Vancouver on a flight from Poland to begin a new life in Canada. In Blamed and…
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#519 Back to Bloody Saturday

1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike by the Graphic History Collective and David Lester, with an introduction by James Naylor Toronto: Between the Lines Books, 2019 $19.95 / 9781771134200 Reviewed by Janet Mary Nicol First published March 29, 2019 * Editor’s note: In September 2020, 1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg…
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#517 Sunshine on the Rain People

Ocean Falls: After the Whistle. Recollections and Reflections of Life in a Coastal Company Town by R. Brian McDaniel Victoria: Printorium Print Works, 2018 $40.00 / 9781999420703 Reviewed by Howard Macdonald Stewart * The story of a town that no longer exists is destined to be poignant, at least in places. The fact that it’s…
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#514 Consider the Indian Act

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality by Bob Joseph Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2018 $19.95 / 9780995266520 * Talking Back to the Indian Act: Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories by Mary-Ellen Kelm and Keith D. Smith (editors) Toronto: University of Toronto Press,…
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#507 What rhymes with alma mater

The Hundred-Year Trek: A History of Student Life at UBC by Sheldon Goldfarb, with a preface by the Right Honourable Kim Campbell Victoria: Heritage House, 2017 $32.95 / 9781772032239 Reviewed by Herbert Rosengarten * When UBC, then situated in a few buildings at Vancouver General Hospital, opened its doors in 1915, fewer than 400 students…
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#497 Vancouver’s master broadcaster

George Garrett: Intrepid Reporter by George Garrett Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178661 Reviewed by Michael Sasges * George Garrett: Intrepid Reporter is important reading for anyone interested in Vancouver politics and journalism in the last fifty years of the previous century. As a reporter for radio station CKNW from 1956 to 1999,…
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#496 Too much sail, not enough ballast

Across Oceans of Law: The Komagata Maru and Jurisdiction in the Time of Empire by Renisa Mawani Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2018 $27.95 (U.S.) / 9780822370352 Reviewed by Hugh Johnston * Renisa Mawani writes a thoroughly academic prose, not intended for a casual audience. Even so, her book will have fans, especially among…
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#494 Mycology, MDA & Hells Angels

85 Grams: Art Williams, Drug Czar by Daryl Ashby Victoria: Tellwell Talent, 2018 $19.95 / 9781773703503 Reviewed by Kathryn Neilson * During the 1970s, Arthur James Williams ran the largest MDA lab in North America near the small town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. With assistance from trusted confidants, he produced and distributed millions of…
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#492 Future-making in Haida Gwaii

Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life Beyond Settler Colonialism by Joseph Weiss Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $32.95 / 9780774837590 Reviewed by Molly Clarkson * I’ll admit that I approached Dr. Joseph Weiss’s Shaping the Future on Haida Gwaii: Life Beyond Settler Colonialism with a not-insignificant amount of trepidation. Another ethnographic examination of the Haida…
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#475 Ian Waddell’s front row seat

Take the Torch: A Political Memoir by Ian Waddell Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $22.95 / 9780889713475 Reviewed by Rod Drown First published Jan. 30, 2019 * In Take the Torch, long-time British Columbian New Democratic Party politician Ian Waddell tells, in detail and with humour, the story of how a Scottish boy made good in…
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#474 Decisions, decisions

How Churchill Waged War: The Most Challenging Decisions of the Second World War by Allen Packwood Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Books, 2018 $34.95 (U.S.)  / 9781473893894 Reviewed by Peter Clarke First published Jan. 29, 2019 * Each new book about Winston Churchill inevitably faces the question of whether it is really necessary, since there…
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