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Writer & Historian

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Reviews

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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Remembering Allende

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April 4, 2012
Remembering Allende

Isabel Allende’s much celebrated 1982 novel The House of the Spirits was a wonderful read full of angst and sorry, pain, anger and frustration. It joins the great Latin American magical realist tradition while offering a credible depiction of the horrors of early 1970s Chile and the overthrow and assassination of Marxist president Salvador...
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Thatcher without Thatcherism – A Film Review

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January 21, 2012
Thatcher without Thatcherism – A Film Review

It seems an appropriate time to release The Iron Lady, a film that promises to review the life and times of Britain’s first female prime minister, the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher. That’s Baroness Thatcher, if you please.  Regrettably filmmaker Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) gives us a watered-down version of Thatcher. Instead of providing a no-holds-barred...
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America Needs Eastwood – A Film Review

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November 22, 2011
America Needs Eastwood – A Film Review

I wonder if Clint Eastwood is thinking about running for president. Maybe he should. With his latest success, J. Edgar, he has once again put his finger on the pulse of what is wrong in American society. President? Not another Hollywood transplant to DC? Could he be worse than the last actor-president? I doubt...
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The Innocence of Joe Hill

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October 28, 2011
The Innocence of Joe Hill

William M. Adler, The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon (New York: Bloomsbury, 2011). Since he was shot by a Utah firing squad on November 19, 1915, people have debated the guilt or innocence of storied protest songwriter and singer Joe Hill. Now, with a...
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Books