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Writer & Historian

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Histories

Flying Union High – A Book Review

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September 19, 2020
Flying Union High – A Book Review

Christine Hayvice, Arrivals and Departures (Toronto: Unifor Local 2002, 2020), 489 pages, $35 (paper). I love flying and I’ve done my share of it. Now I’m grounded like most of the world, thanks to Covid, so reading a title like this had me longing for a chance to hop on a plane again. Alas, despite its...
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Meet Jimmie Peever – A Book Review

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June 14, 2020
Meet Jimmie Peever – A Book Review

Keith G. Powell, In the Shadow of Elephants (Cranbrook: Wild Horse Creek Press, 2019), 302 pages (paper), $21.95. Billed as a historical novel, Kootenay writer-publisher Keith G. Powell has crafted a multi-tasking book that doubles as a local history and triples as a photographic tour of the pioneer days of the East and West Kootenays. The...
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Golden City Yarns – A Book Review

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February 28, 2020
Golden City Yarns – A Book Review

Ron Shearer, Chicanery, Civility & Celebrations: Tales of Early Rossland (Rossland: Rossland Heritage Commission, 2019), 170 pages, $24.95 (paper). Kootenay history buffs have long savoured the storytelling talents of Ron Shearer, a retired UBC economics professor turned amateur historian. Now, in a randomly presented selection of stories, he takes us back to the mining...
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Follow the Black Cat – A Book Review

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February 26, 2020
Follow the Black Cat – A Book Review

Graphic History Collective, Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2019), large format, 60 pages, $14.95 (soft cover).             I just barely squeaked through my high school history class. I liked it, but I wasn’t good at memorizing dates and I had questions about...
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Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

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October 18, 2019
Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

Raymond Caballero, McCarthyism vs. Clinton Jencks (Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), 320 pages, $29.95 (paper). Just when books about the history of Communist trade unions seem to have waned, Portland historian Raymond Caballero brings to life the horrors of the Second Red Scare in the 1950s through an account of the trials and tribulations...
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Union Hall Named National Historic Site – A Labour History Update

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July 29, 2019
Union Hall Named National Historic Site – A Labour History Update

Parks Canada officially designated the Rossland Miners’ Union Hall as a national historic site on July 20, 2019. The subject of my 2013 documentary film Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout, the 1898 building has been the meeting place for many historic events in the history of the B.C. labour movement. The Parks Canada web...
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History Backs the Green New Deal – A Response

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May 30, 2019
History Backs the Green New Deal – A Response

Kevin Baker, “Where Our New World Begins: Politics, Power, and the Green New Deal,” Harper’s Magazine, May 2019. Kevin Baker, a journalist and author of award-winning historical novels, supports the Green New Deal. It isn’t blanket support; he sees that changes and compromises will be needed to make it fly. But he argues that...
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Codename Project 9 – A History Booklet

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May 17, 2019
Codename Project 9 – A History Booklet

Reference Verzuh, Ron. Codename Project 9: How a Small British Columbia City Helped Create the Atomic Bomb (KDP Publishing, 2018), 86 pages paper only, $9 (USD) at amazon.com. Synopsis The people of Trail, British Columbia, kept one of the biggest Canadian secrets of the Second World War. Most didn’t know it at the time...
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How I Became a Socialist – A Memoir

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April 29, 2019
How I Became a Socialist – A Memoir

The Green New Deal has already created a stir in Congress and in the minds of many Americans who have been quick to condemn it as a communist plot. After 10 years of living among them, I have learned that fear largely drives the collective consciousness of Americans: fear of skin color, immigrants, and...
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Labour History Can Inspire Workers – An Op-Ed Article

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April 18, 2019
Labour History Can Inspire Workers – An Op-Ed Article

“Marches, rallies, sit-ins – it all matters. It toughens people. It creates solidarity. That why it’s important to know the history of unions, co-op organizers, and civil-rights fighters. When you realize there are a lot of people who came before you, you don’t feel alone. You’re standing on their shoulders even though they’re no...
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Books