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Northern Socialist – A Book Review

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October 5, 2021

John Jensen, No Compromise – A Memoir (Vancouver: Walhachin Press, 2021), 175 pages (paper), $20 plus GST. British Columbia’s labour history often focuses on the Lower Mainland where leaders of the big unions made headlines with major strikes, clashes with police, and the hard work of making the industrial workplace safer. This brief memoir shifts the...
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“Impossibilist” Crusader – A Book Review

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August 3, 2021

Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt, Able to Lead: Disablement, Radicalism, and the Political Life of E.T. Kingsley (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021). Eugene Thornton “E.T.” Kingsley (1856-1929) was a sharp-tongued orator in British Columbia political circles and an equally sharp-penned editor of the socialist Western Clarion in the early 20th century. Uniquely, Able to Lead probes his role in...
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Co-Pay Conundrum – A Social Commentary

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December 22, 2020
Co-Pay Conundrum – A Social Commentary

The insurance vultures are everywhere. A month before Christmas 2020, I paid several hundred dollars in “co-pays” for medical services. Canadians, I realize that “co-pay” is a foreign term to you, but for millions of Americans it is part of everyday life, death and possible bankruptcy. To be fair, insurers usually pay the lion’s...
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All Grandfathers are Created Equal – A Book Review

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December 21, 2020
All Grandfathers are Created Equal – A Book Review

Ian Haysom, Grandfathered: Dispatches from the Trenches of Modern Grandparenthood (Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2020), 200 pages, $22.95 (paper). I skipped the grandfather stage of life and went straight to great grandfathering, but that didn’t mean I missed the charms of grandparenting so humourously described in Ian Haysom’s memoir, Grandfathered. Most of all, I have not missed...
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The American Thanksgiving Myth – A History Correction

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November 25, 2020

As Americans get set to celebrate a Covid Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, USA Today has offered some hard truths about this very American holiday. It is not what some of us assumed and it is not a happy history. Here’s the news article. 
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Leola’s 2020 Summer Fruit & Flower Show – A Covid Breather

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August 2, 2020

Early August in the garden of lovely Leola. A welcome breather from Trump and that other virus. Beauty provides a little respite from an ugly time. Perhaps a moment of hope. “Fleurs de mal,” wrote the poet long ago, but flowers of love and enchantment as well. Enjoy!
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Fighting Hate – A Book Review

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May 21, 2020
Fighting Hate – A Book Review

Tony McAleer, The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist’s Journey From Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019), 320 pages (soft cover), $22.95. As a Canadian living in the United States, I am witnessing an era of deepening tensions fueled by racial, class and gender hate. Tony McAleer’s book seemed a possible...
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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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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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An Air Warrior’s Last Days

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January 20, 2019
An Air Warrior’s Last Days

A Book Review Peter J. Usher, Joey Jacobson’s War: A Jewish Canadian Airman in the Second World War (London, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018). Joey Jacobson’s War is a moving account of the last months of a young airman’s life told through his diaries and letters during training in Canada, waiting for action...
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Books