Politics & labour

#968 Will you help The Ormsby Review?

Will you help The Ormsby Review? by Richard Mackie * A message from publisher Richard Mackie and the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society. Advisory Board: Jean Barman, Wade Davis, Robin Fisher, Cole Harris, Hugh Johnston, Patricia Roy, David Stouck, Graeme Wynn. Board of Directors: Ron Hatch, Eldon Yellowhorn, Imogene Lim, Byron Sheardown, LiLynn Wan, Trevor…
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#958 Out with vitriol, in with civility

I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up by James Hoggan with Grania Litwin Gabriola: New Society Publishers, 2019 (second Edition, first published 2016) $19.00 / 9780865719149 Reviewed by Logan Macnair * That the public discourse surrounding certain social and political topics (particularly in online…
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#955 A glance across the border

Contested Boundaries: A New Pacific Northwest History by David J. Jepsen and David J. Norberg Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017 $34.95 (US) / 9781119065487 Reviewed by Jamie Morton * Editor’s note: when The Ormsby Review moved to its own website in May 2019, a few reviews fell between the cracks. We noticed the absence of…
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#937 Radishes and Gooseberries

Masters and Servants: The Hudson’s Bay Company and its North American Workforce, 1668-1786 by Scott P. Stephen Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2019 $44.99 / 9781772123371 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Radishes and Gooseberries: Meet some of the people who are missing from your high school history textbook… “Radishes and Gooseberries!” Our high school social…
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#919 Métis descent vs the race-shifters

Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity by Darryl Leroux Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2019 $27.95 / 9780887558467 Reviewed by David Milward * The arrival of Europeans on the shores of the Americas centuries ago made certain results inevitable. The colonization of Indigenous peoples, with its attendant atrocities and exploitation, certainly constitute a great many…
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#915 Shutting down parliament, 1970

The Abortion Caravan by Karin Wells Toronto: Second Story Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781772601251 Reviewed by Donalda Reid * Karin Wells has written an engaging book, The Abortion Caravan, about the 1970 national women’s march on Parliament aimed at forcing changes to Canada’s abortion laws. Her book takes us back fifty years into a period…
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#914 Flying union high

Arrivals and Departures by Christine Hayvice Toronto: Unifor Local 2002, 2020 $35.00 / 9780968150511. Contact address: airlineworker1990@gmail.com Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Flying Union High: An insider’s look at the history of union bargaining at Canada’s airlines I love flying and I’ve done my share of it. Now I’m grounded like most of the world, thanks…
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#873 A castle for all Victorians

Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle by Terry Reksten Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 (first published by Orca Books, 1987; reprinted 1994, 1997, and 2000) $16.95 / 9781459823846 Reviewed by Matthew Downey * This new printing of the late Terry Reksten’s Craigdarroch: The Story of Dunsmuir Castle provides to a new generation of readers a short…
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#848 The ballad of Ginger Goodwin

Ginger: The Life and Death of Albert Goodwin by Susan Mayse Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2020; first published by Harbour, 1990 $28.95 / 9781550170184 Reviewed by Dan Hinman-Smith * We’re all working men here, And we drink Lucky Beer, Do we hold a grudge? You bet. — Gordon Carter, “The Day They Shot Ginger Down”…
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#842 Poetry for a better tomorrow

All My Politics are Poetry by Larry Hannant Victoria: Yalla Press, 2019 $16.95 / 9791999289300 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * Throughout history, poetry has been a marker for monumental events by lyrically capturing emotional and provocative aspects of life, change, disruption, and chaos. It addresses difficult and challenging issues, making pain palatable enough for readers…
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#832 Marx, Malthus, and Meech Lake

Itineraries: An Intellectual Odyssey by Philip Resnick Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2020 $21.95 /  9781553806028 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Philip Resnick is an old-fashioned Canadian nationalist. I don’t mean harking back to the National Policy of Sir John A. Not that old-fashioned. More the nationalism of the 1970s, the Waffle Movement in the NDP, the…
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#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: Raincoast Books / Page Two Strategies, 2019 $19.95 / 9781989025642 Reviewed by David Milward * On March 12, 2020, Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality, by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F….
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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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