Politics & labour

#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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#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 and colonialism

On This Patch of Grass: City Parks on Occupied Land by Daisy Couture, Sadie Couture, Selena Couture, and Matt Hern, with a Foreword by Denise Ferreira da Silva, a Forward! by Glen Coulthard, and 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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#732 Race, rails, and Hogan’s Alley

They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada by Cecil Foster Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2019 $22.95 / 9781771962612 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * For Black History Month Canada (February 1- 20, 2020) we present John Belshaw’s review of Cecil Foster’s They Call Me George: The…
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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 A. 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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#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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#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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