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Writer & Historian

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Reviews

Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

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April 5, 2017
Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

Jon Bartlett and Rika Reubsaat, Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners’ Strike (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2016), 126 pp., $19 paper. Arthur “Slim” Evans has long been a notable figure in Canadian labour history, most often associated with the famed On-to-Ottawa Trek that he led in 1935 in an effort to improve conditions in the...
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Hell’s History – A Book Review

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March 2, 2017

With this short book, Tom Sandborn, labour reporter for the tyee.ca, and the United Steelworkers have reminded us of how deadly slow and ineffective workplace safety laws still are in spite of a law passed after the Westray disaster. RV #97 Getting away with murder  
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Tarkovsky – The Poetic Russian Filmmaker

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February 19, 2017
Tarkovsky – The Poetic Russian Filmmaker

Andrei Tarkovsky, one of the great Russian directors (1932-1986), brings a poetic vision to his films that has both entranced and frustrated viewers since his first film Ivan’s Childhood won accolades at the Venice Film Festival in 1962. The maker of Alexei Rubylev (1966), Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1974), Stalker (1979) and Nostalgia (1983)...
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Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

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April 21, 2016
Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

Mark Leier, Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden, revised edition (Vancouver: New Star, 2013), 183 pages, soft cover, $21; Laura Ellyn, Ginger Goodwin: A Worker’s Friend (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2016), 114 pages, soft cover, $23.95 It’s a minor miracle that labour historian Mark Leier’s revision of his original 1999 book...
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The 33 – A Film Review

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November 20, 2015
The 33 – A Film Review

I was bubbling over with questions after seeing The 33, a new film about the 2010 mining accident that buried 33 miners alive in Chile’s San Jose mine. But I was also concerned that the filmmakers had chosen Hollywood star power to tell this story of local courage and community resistance. We too seldom...
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Play’s honesty triumphs over free trade

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October 25, 2015
Play’s honesty triumphs over free trade

Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat is a triumph of honesty about the slow, silent and devastating personal impacts of free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the one President Obama just signed. Just ending its premiere season’s run at Oregon’s Ashland Shakespeare Festival, Nottage’s play portrays a group of friends and family members who are...
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Labour history novel – A Book Review

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August 26, 2015
Labour history novel – A Book Review

Mick Lowe, The Insatiable Maw: A Story of Eco-Resistance, Volume 2 of the Nickel Range Trilogy (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2015), 153 pages, paperback, $19.95 CDN.   On the heels of his first novel about Northern Ontario mine and smelter workers of the 1960s, journalist turned novelist Mick Lowe has released a thin second volume...
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Sudbury’s union war – A Book Review

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November 10, 2014
Sudbury’s union war – A Book Review

Mick Lowe, The Raids: The Nickel Range Trilogy, Volume 1 (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2014), 294 pages, $19.95. News reporter turned novelist Mick Lowe has produced the first of a promised trilogy of labour history novels set in Northern Ontario that might be closer to truth than to fiction. As a long-time reporter in the...
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Why do young Canadians go to war? – A Book Review

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October 17, 2014
Why do young Canadians go to war? – A Book Review

Stephen Dale, Nobel Illusions: Young Canada Goes to War (Halifax: Fernwood, 2014), 111 pages, $18.95 (paper). Canadians today, in the centenary year of the start of the First World War, might still wonder why so many young men willingly walked into the death trenches of Europe from 1914 to 1918. In Nobel Illusions author...
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A madcap romp through America – A Book Review

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July 23, 2014
A madcap romp through America – A Book Review

Bill Bryson, One Summer – America 1927 (New York: Anchor Books, 2013), 509 pages (paper). I joyously devoured Bill Bryson’s latest book on America in which he manages to squeeze 509 pages (counting the index) out of five months, May to September 1927. Turns out it wasn’t that difficult since those particular months times...
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh