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Review Essays

review essay

Taking Local History Seriously  

By Jean Barman

Book Reviews

Book Review

Maps and Memes: Redrawing Culture, Place and Identity in Indigenous Communities

In this innovative and important book, Gwilyn Eades, a geographer from Terrace, undertakes a kaleidoscopic investigation of the significance of maps, cartography, contemporary geo-coding technologies (GIS, GPS, and Google Earth), and questions of spatial cognition...

By Daniel Clayton

Book Review

The Last Best West: An Exploration of Myth, Identity and Quality of Life in Western Canada

The Last Best West is an eclectic collection of chapters based loosely on the meaning and mythology of the advertising slogan used by the Canadian government around the turn of the twentieth century to attract...

By Ken Favrholdt

Book Review

Never Shoot a Stampede Queen: A Rookie Reporter in the Cariboo

Never Shoot a Stampede Queen tells the story of a twenty-two-year-old university graduate from Vancouver adapting to life in Williams Lake in the 1980s after he accidentally landed a job there as a community newspaper...

By Jenny Clayton

Book Review

Beyond the Chilcotin: On the Home Ranch with Pan Phillips

Beyond the Chilcotin is a collection of stories about ranch life in a remote part of west-central British Columbia. Written by Diana Philips, whose father Pan Philips first came to the Chilcotin plateau in the...

By John Thistle

Book Review

The Rise of Jewish Life and Religion in British Columbia, 1858-1948

The Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia is to be congratulated for publishing Cyril Leonoff’s comprehensive study of the Jewish community of British Columbia from its beginnings to the mid-twentieth century as a 204-page “article”...

By Ira Robinson

Book Review

Victoria Underfoot: Excavating a City’s Secrets

This is a colourful guidebook to the archaeology of Victoria, both with regard to pre-contact Northwest Coast Aboriginal peoples and of the extremely varied inhabitants of postcontact Victoria. It ranges from a three thousand-year-old wet...

By R. Matson

Book Review

Comrades and Critics: Women, Literature, and the Left in 1930s Canada

Canada’s best-known female literary writers from the 1930s are all closely associated with British Columbia: activist wordsmith Dorothy Livesay, then a member of the Communist Party, who first moved to Vancouver in 1936; Anne Marriott,...

By Carole Gerson

Book Review

The Verse Map of Vancouver

In A Verse Map of Vancouver, editor George McWhirter sets himself a compelling challenge: “to represent the city’s places and principal features in poetry” rather than to collect its most prominent poems or poets. The...

By Jason V. Starnes

Book Review

The Weather of the Pacific Northwest

Weather is a favourite topic of conversation in most places but perhaps nowhere more so than along the northwest coast of North America, a region that prides itself on a rich “outdoors” recreational culture and...

By Ian McKendry

Book Review

Yi Fao/Speaking through Memory: A History of New Westminster’s Chinese Community, 1850-1980

PDF – Barman Review Essay – BC Studies 165, Spring 2010

By Patricia Owen

Book Review

Fort St. James and New Caledonia: Where British Columbia Began

Many residents of British Columbia are probably unaware that the settler history of the province began not in the Fraser Valley but in New Caledonia, the north-central interior, a result not of the explorations of...

By William Morrison

Book Review

Captain Alex MacLean: Jack London’s Sea Wolf

Anyone who has delved into the gripping, sometimes impregnable, but always complex world of pelagic fur sealing on the north Pacific Coast knows just what a challenge the history of that subject poses. Then, to...

By Cary Collins

Book Review

Making Wawa: The Genesis of Chinook Jargon

It is difficult to research and write about the history of British Columbia without coming across snippets of Chinook Jargon. Within living memory, it was the lingua franca in coastal logging camps and salmon canneries,...

By Forrest Pass



Jean Barman writes on Canadian and British Columbian history. Her book The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia (University of Toronto Press) is now in a 3rd edition. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Jonathan Clapperton is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Saskatchewan. His dissertation research focuses on the history of relationships among Aboriginal Peoples, conservationists and environmentalists in North America, specifically at parks and “protected” areas. He has recently published in UFV Research Review: A Special Topics Journal and has received a NiCHE grant in partnership with Keith Carlson to host a symposium on the history of provincial and local parks this fall.

Richard A. Rajala is an Associate Professor in the University of Victoria History Department. His most recent article is, “From ‘Onto-Ottawa’ to ‘Bloody Sunday’: Unemployment Relief and British Columbia Forests,
1935-1939,” in Framing Canadian Federalism: Historical Essays in Honour of John T. Saywell, eds. Dimitry Anastakis and P.E. Bryden (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 118-150.

Mark C.J. Stoddart is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. His areas of interest include environmental sociology, social movements, sport, and mass media. His work has been published in Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change; Local Environment; and Social Thought and Research.

D.B. Tindall’s research focuses on contention over environmental issues, and in particular has examined the role of social networks in the environmental movement in Canada. He has published his work in a variety of journals including the Canadian Journal of Sociology, the Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Social Networks, Society and Natural Resources, and Sociological Focus amongst others.