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Writer & Historian

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Reviews

Humble Word Warrior – A Book Review

0
January 15, 2014
Humble Word Warrior – A Book Review

After being prodded, cajoled,  and possibly even guilted into it by people like me, Ed Finn has finally published his memoirs. Who’s Ed Finn? some of you might ask. Fair question…if you haven’t been observing Canadian left politics for the past 70 years. For that long, Finn has served as a tireless journalistic voice...
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Labour Goes to War – A Book Review

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December 4, 2013
Labour Goes to War – A Book Review

Wendy Cuthbertson, Labour Goes to War: The CIO and the Construction of a New Social Order, 1939-45 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012), 240 pages, $32.95 (paper). Labour Goes to War is a welcome new study whose title promises readers an analysis of the major industrial union organizing drive led by the Congress of Industrial Organizations...
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Why Argo won

3
February 26, 2013
Why Argo won

I went into apoplectic mode when Michelle Obama opened the envelope last Sunday night, Oscar night, and drew out the paper that said Argo. The flawed account of the Canadian rescue of six American embassy staff members during the 1979-1981 hostage incident in Iran had won for best picture. How could this be? I...
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Harper’s blasts Spielberg’s Lincoln

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January 11, 2013
Harper’s blasts Spielberg’s Lincoln

Anyone who has seen Lincoln, nominated for 12 Oscars and likely to win quite a few on February 24, may want to read Harper’s (February 2013) for a second opinion. Thomas Frank, who describes Steven Spielberg as “that Michelangelo of the trite,” speaks for me with the following statement about the filmmaker’s regular forays...
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Raising the Workers’ Flag – A Book Review

1
December 15, 2012
Raising the Workers’ Flag – A Book Review

  Stephen L. Endicott, Raising the Workers’ Flag: The Workers’ Unity League in Canada, 1930-1936 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 442 pages, $35 (paper), $75 (hard cover) The struggle to build trade unions in the extractive and manufacturing industries of Canada — mining, forestry, fishing, clothing, furniture, and others — was meteoric and...
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South African Elvis – A Film Review

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November 1, 2012
South African Elvis – A Film Review

Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul, 2012, 85 minutes Sometimes, maybe too much of the time, the music industry lets a great talent slip into oblivion, disappearing into the cracks and crinkles of rock n’ roll history never to be heard from again. That was the case with Sixto Rodriquez...
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The Brothers Reuther – A Film Review

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October 31, 2012
The Brothers Reuther – A Film Review

Brothers on the Line, directed by Sasha Reuther, 2012 There is a moment toward the end of Brothers on the Line when legendary American union leader Walter Reuther is making a speech to a rally of mostly black people fighting for their civil rights. “I think black is beautiful,” he says. There’s an appropriate...
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Richard Ford’s Canada – A Book Review

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August 8, 2012
Richard Ford’s Canada – A Book Review

Richard Ford, Canada (New York: HarperCollins, 2012), 420 pages, $27.95 (hard cover) Canadians with advance news of Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford’s latest novel, Canada, might have been expecting more than he was prepared to deliver about their home and native land. Indeed, Ford forces readers to wade through almost 200 pages before Canada...
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Steel Man

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July 17, 2012
Steel Man

Williams, Lynn. One Day Longer – A Memoir, Toronto: University of Toronto Press/Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR-Cornell University Press, 2011, 320 pp., $39.95 (hard cover). Lynn Williams broke new ground in 1983 when he became the first Canadian to lead the 1.2-million member United Steel Workers of America. Now he shares his journey in a memoir...
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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

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July 10, 2012
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what...
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Books