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Writer & Historian

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Labour

Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

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April 21, 2016
Labour rebels shaped BC history – A book review

Mark Leier, Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden, revised edition (Vancouver: New Star, 2013), 183 pages, soft cover, $21; Laura Ellyn, Ginger Goodwin: A Worker’s Friend (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2016), 114 pages, soft cover, $23.95 It’s a minor miracle that labour historian Mark Leier’s revision of his original 1999 book...
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Remembering Salt – A research note

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March 20, 2016
Remembering Salt – A research note

Cold War historians have uncovered much evidence to illustrate how the political intolerance of the early 1950s manifested itself in some Canadian cities. However, little has been revealed regarding McCarthyism’s impact on the country’s non-urban communities nor has there been significant exploration of the Cold War resistance that was mobilized in small Canadian towns....
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Joe Hill and Salt official selections

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March 20, 2016
Joe Hill and Salt official selections

My two short documentary films, Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout and Remembering Salt, are official selections in the 2016 Reel Work Labor Film Festival. They will be screened on Monday, April 25, 7 p.m., at the Service Employees International Union Hall, 517 Mission St., Santa Cruz, CA. See www.reelwork.org . Coming this summer My...
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The 33 – A Film Review

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November 20, 2015
The 33 – A Film Review

I was bubbling over with questions after seeing The 33, a new film about the 2010 mining accident that buried 33 miners alive in Chile’s San Jose mine. But I was also concerned that the filmmakers had chosen Hollywood star power to tell this story of local courage and community resistance. We too seldom...
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Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

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November 10, 2015
Organizing Immigrant Workers – A History Essay

My article on organizing immigrant labour at the lead, zinc, and fertilizer smelter in Trail, B.C., during the Second World War has been published by the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, a respected journal that has been providing insightful articles on the history of the region for more than 100 years. My thanks to managing editor John Findlay...
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Remembering Salt broadcast on TV in Kootenays

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November 9, 2015
Remembering Salt broadcast on TV in Kootenays

Remembering Salt, my second short documentary film about the Kootenays, is airing on Shaw Cable Channel 10 on the dates and times listed below. See the attached Castlegar News feature for a comment on the show: http://www.castlegarnews.com/entertainment/350655251.html . See below. The half-hour broadcast includes my comments on the making of the documentary as well as excerpts...
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Labour history novel – A Book Review

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August 26, 2015
Labour history novel – A Book Review

Mick Lowe, The Insatiable Maw: A Story of Eco-Resistance, Volume 2 of the Nickel Range Trilogy (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2015), 153 pages, paperback, $19.95 CDN.   On the heels of his first novel about Northern Ontario mine and smelter workers of the 1960s, journalist turned novelist Mick Lowe has released a thin second volume...
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Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

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July 23, 2015
Blaylock’s Bomb – A History Essay

“Blaylock’s Bomb – How a Small BC City Helped Create the World’s First Weapon of Mass Destruction” is now available in BC Studies No. 186 (summer 2015). Four years into the Second World War, the citizens of Trail, British Columbia, a small city with a large smelter in the moun­tainous West Kootenay region near...
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New film on B.C. labor martyr Ginger Goodwin

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May 11, 2015
New film on B.C. labor martyr Ginger Goodwin

A new documentary film takes us back to the early 1900s in the coal mining regions of Vancouver Is. where labor martyr Ginger Goodwin spent his last days before being shot and killed by a special police constable. Goodwin’s Way revisits that labor history through a modern-day lens focused on the struggle to keep...
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Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

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May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

If you work at a Safeway, a Starbucks, a courier service, or even as a freelance worker at a home computer your every move may be tracked to make sure your employer is maximizing his profits and minimizing your take-home pay. It’s all done with something called a workplace management system. A computer tracks...
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Books