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Writer & Historian

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The Ghosts of Blaylock’s Mansion – A Book Review

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September 8, 2021

Charlie Hodge with Dan McGauley, Lost Souls of Lakewood Fun tale: The History and Mystery of Blaylock’s Mansion(Victoria: Freisen Press, 2021), 297 pages, $46.54 (hardback), $24.25 (paper). Mom used to drive us out to Blaylock’s Mansion on Kootenay Lake near Nelson to glimpse how the other half lived, I suppose, but also to share the storybook...
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“Impossibilist” Crusader – A Book Review

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August 3, 2021

Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt, Able to Lead: Disablement, Radicalism, and the Political Life of E.T. Kingsley (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021). Eugene Thornton “E.T.” Kingsley (1856-1929) was a sharp-tongued orator in British Columbia political circles and an equally sharp-penned editor of the socialist Western Clarion in the early 20th century. Uniquely, Able to Lead probes his role in...
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Fighting Inequality – A Book Review

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June 21, 2021

Eric W. Sager, Inequality in Canada: The History and Politics of an Idea (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020), 488 pages, $37.95 (paper). Most of us know Stephen Leacock as Canada’s foremost humourist and author of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (1912), but there is another Stephen Leacock. This one figures in historian Eric Sager’s expansive study of...
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Crusaders Battle Chainsaws – A Book Review

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March 27, 2021

Elizabeth May, Paradise Won: The Struggle to Create Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (Victoria and Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books, 2020), 328 pages (paper), $25. Anyone who has visited Haida Gwaii will instantly relate to Elizabeth May’s remembrance of one of the most significant First Nations land claims battles of our time. The battle was significant because...
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My NRA membership card has arrived . . . again

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July 18, 2021

I don’t know what attracts the National Rifle Association to my door each year. I don’t own a gun, abhor the killing machines, and do what I can to support all gun control measures. In fact, I advocate getting rid of America’s 300 million+ guns altogether.  My philosophy: where there are guns death is...
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Burning Crosses – A Book Review

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July 4, 2021
Burning Crosses – A Book Review

Allan Bartley, The Ku Klux Klan in Canada (Halifax: Formac Publishing, 2020), $24.95 (paper), 319 pages (photographs).         For almost a century, the racist and often violent Ku Klux Klan has found a home in most provinces of the Peaceable Kingdom. They no longer wear cartoon-like outfits, but they are out there all the same and they...
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Pilgrimage to Zuckerberg’s – A Memoir

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June 22, 2021
Pilgrimage to Zuckerberg’s  – A Memoir

Almost 50 years ago, I spent about six months living on an idyllic little island where I acted as a caretaker. Zuckerberg Island is situated at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers in Castlegar, British Columbia, the town were I grew up. Eli Sopow, a high school friend, was editing the Kootenay...
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Dateline Winnipeg 1919 – A Book Review

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May 22, 2021
Dateline Winnipeg 1919 – A Book Review

Michael Dupuis, The Reporter and the Winnipeg General Strike (Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2020), 254 pages (paper), illustrated by Michael Kluckner, $19.95. We’ve heard many versions of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike story. We’ve read it in history books and graphic novels, seen it in videos and plays, heard it on radio documentaries, and even hummed...
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True Crime in Northern Saskatchewan – A Book Review

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April 26, 2021
True Crime in Northern Saskatchewan – A Book Review

Michael Nest with Deanna Reder and Eric Bell, Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkett(Regina: University of Regina Press, 2020), 311 pages (illustrated), $24.95. Author Michael Nest The online streaming networks are filled with true crime dramas these days, all claiming to be based on true facts. But it’s never clear...
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Cheesecake and Castro’s Confidant – A Book Review

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March 11, 2021
Cheesecake and Castro’s Confidant – A Book Review

Rosa Jordan, In Search of a Happy Ending (Martinsville, VA: Propertius Press, 2020), 240 pages, $18.95 (paper). People love happy endings,” says a character in Rosa Jordan’s third novel. But “they will gladly trade truth for a happy ending.” Jordan seeks both in her writer’s search, allowing her to share insights into the multiple social problems...
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