Politics & labour

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…
Read more 1530 Fight fire with foresight

1518 Brazen timber heists

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…
Read more 1518 Brazen timber heists

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,…
Read more 1513 History matters: Meares Island

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…
Read more 1507 A decolonization manifesto

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…
Read more 1505 Vancouver’s neighbourhood hubs

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…
Read more 1498 A politician for all seasons

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…
Read more 1482 The black cat lives on

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…
Read more 1480 Forty visions of Canada

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…
Read more 1476 The driving force

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…
Read more 1473 Hearts across hemispheres

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…
Read more 1460 Trainspotting in the Kootenays

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…
Read more 1452 Scuttling Solidarity, 1983

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…
Read more 1441 Oh, the good new hockey game

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…
Read more 1428 Unfinished treaty business

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…
Read more 1421 A border outrage, 1884

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…
Read more 1419 Letter from Victoria

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….
Read more 1418 Old time labour history

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…
Read more 1416 Fascism now and then

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…
Read more 1411 A constabulary for women

Pin It on Pinterest