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Writer & Historian

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Reviews

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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New Brunswick Labour History – A Book Review

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July 21, 2014
New Brunswick Labour History – A Book Review

Book Review for Labor Studies Journal Making History Matter David Frank, Provincial Solidarities: A History of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (Edmonton: AU Press, 2013), 280 pages (soft cover), $27.95 (CDN).* Writing a trade union history can be a minefield for labour historians. First, there are many people to please and second there...
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Memories of a Mac-Pap – A Book Review

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July 9, 2014
Memories of a Mac-Pap – A Book Review

Ronald Liversedge with David Yorke, ed., Mac-Pap – Memoir of a Canadian in The Spanish Civil War (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2013), 220 pages (paper), $19 (CD and USD).  A bloody harbinger of what Hitler and Mussolini had in store for the world, the Spanish Civil War served as an almost forgotten prelude to...
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Graphic history reaches new audiences

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July 1, 2014

Graphic History Collective, May Day: A Graphic History of Protest (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2012), 32 pages (paper), no price given. One of the many often unfulfilled goals of the modern trade union movement has been to find ways to reach out to young people in hopes of replenishing the diminishing ranks of an...
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Humble Word Warrior – A Book Review

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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

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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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Books