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Writer & Historian

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Joe Hill wins at Oregon Independent Film Festival

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August 27, 2014
Joe Hill wins at Oregon Independent Film Festival

“Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout” has won Best Documentary in the “Historical” category at the 2014 Oregon Independent Film Festival. “Joe Hill” was among more than 50 films from 10 countries. It will be screened in mid-September in Eugene, OR. Other winners will appear in Portland during the six days of the festival, September...
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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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Goodwin country – A Conference Report

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June 21, 2014
Goodwin country – A Conference Report

Once again, the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) outdid itself in organizing a fine annual conference. This one was uniquely set in Cumberland, B.C., an area rich in labour history June 13-15. It was unique in a second way as well in that it coincided with the Miners’ Memorial Weekend, featuring a graveside...
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Phil Donahue vs. America’s Religious Right

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May 29, 2014

Famous TV show host Phil Donahue has written to tell me how “passionate” he is about the separation of church and state. Yes, Phil is concerned that Americans are in danger of losing their right “to believe – or not – as he or she sees fit.” Apparently someone is trying to take away...
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Bernie Sanders on fixing America

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May 14, 2014
Bernie Sanders on fixing America

Once again my snail mailbox is jammed with wonders. I haven’t been so lucky as to receive multiple invitations to buy a walk-in bathtub like Calvin Trillin said he was in a recent New Yorker. But there have been other promising delights. Seed catalogues are big right now and I have received enough of...
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“Joe Hill” visits the Big Apple

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April 24, 2014
“Joe Hill” visits the Big Apple

My short video documentary, “Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout” has been accepted at the Workers’ Unite Film Festival in New York City next month. It is on the program with Sasha Reuther’s excellent feature documentary “Brothers on the Line.” http://www.workersunitefilmfestival.org/Official Select WUff 2014 WUFF program – Joe Hill
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Is there anything left anymore?

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March 28, 2014

Of course I know the answer to that question – there is indeed a left – but these days you get to wondering if there are any new ideas for moving us toward a socialist future of some description. It’s especially exacerbating down here in the good ole US of A with the Tea...
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Books