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Book Reviews

Book Review

Talk-Action= Zero: An Illustrated History of D.O.A.

Somewhere in a Vancouver basement is my copy of “Expo Hurts Everyone.” The seven-inch EP record came out in 1986, the same year my unimpressive high-school career drew to a close and Vancouver entered a...

By Adele Perry

Book Review

Measure of the Year: Reflections on Home, Family, and a Life Fully Lived

As part of its ‘Classics West Collection’ Touch Wood Editions has released a trade paperback edition of Measure of the Year, Roderick Haig-Brown’s celebrated collection of seasonal essays, with a foreword by poet Brian Brett....

By Des Kennedy

Book Review

The Drive: A Retail, Social and Political History of Commercial Drive, Vancouver, to 1956

On the morning of April 8, 1949, a nattily-dressed crook named Robert Harrison visited the Bank of Commerce at the corner of First Avenue and Commercial Drive and relieved it of $3,000. Armed with a...

By Daniel Francis

Book Review

After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region

It has been three years since we have seen a major critical monograph published in the field of black Canadian cultural studies. The last was Katherine McKittrick and Clyde Wood’s significant edited collection, Black Geographies...

By Karina Vernon

Book Review

British Columbia Politics and Government

British Columbia’s unique geographical location and relative isolation in Canada makes for an interesting study of how politics can be done differently in the federation. The contributors to British Columbia Politics and Government highlight the...

By Allan Craigie

Book Review

Feeding the Family: 100 Years of Food and Drink in Victoria

Until the later decades of the past century, historical writing was by men, about men, and for men. Narratives of the past made room for a queen, and the odd Laura Secord or Florence Nightingale,...

By Christopher Hanna

Book Review

These Mysterious People: Shaping History and Archaeology in a Northwest Coast Community

In the summer of 1968, my grandmother would sometimes take my young aunt and uncle to the northern bank of the outflow of the Fraser River to dig for “Indian treasure” at the Marpole Midden....

By Madeline Knickerbocker

Book Review

Pioneers of the Pacific Coast: A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters

Until the later decades of the past century, historical writing was by men, about men, and for men. Narratives of the past made room for a queen, and the odd Laura Secord or Florence Nightingale,...

By Chad Reimer

Book Review

Geography of British Columbia: People and Landscapes in Transition 3rd Edition

I was intrigued by this textbook and agreed to review it for two reasons: first, because it is more than fifteen years since I lived in British Columbia and I was keen to discover how...

By Daniel Clayton

Book Review

British Columbia’s Magnificent Parks: The First 100 Years

James D. Anderson’s British Columbia’s Magnificent Parks: The First 100 Years is a tribute to the first century of the Provincial Park system in BC. This thoroughly researched and richly illustrated history, sensitive to ongoing...

By J. Cronin

Book Review

The Third Crop: A Personal and Historical Journey into the Photo Albums and Shoeboxes of the Slocan Valley, 1800s to early 1940s

The Slocan Valley is quirky and isolated, and its past can be told in many ways. The valley has been a site of conflict between capital and labour on an industrial mining frontier, a haven for...

By Cole Harris

Book Review

Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art From the Audain Collection

At the beginning of the twentieth century British Columbia had a reputation for being a place where, as one journalist at Vancouver’s Province (16 October 1904) put it, there was little support for the province’s “gallant little...

By Maria Tippett

Book Review

Carvings and Commerce: Model Totem Poles, 1880-2010

In 2010 the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon held an exhibition of 194 Northwest Coast style model totem poles. This handsome book is the catalogue for that exhibit. The model poles are presented chronologically in...

By Alan Hoover

Book Review

The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763

If I understand the author’s intentions, the aim of this work is to explain how the west – that is, the continental interior of North America south of Hudson Bay, beyond the Great Lakes, and...

By Barry Gough

Book Review

The Whaling People of the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Cape Flattery

  Whaling played a prominent role in the traditional cultures of the people who live along western Vancouver Island and around Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula. As well as its importance in the economy,...

By Alan D. McMillan

Book Review

Voices from Two Rivers: Harnessing the Power of the Peace and Columbia

Voices from Two Rivers explores WAC Bennett’s “Two Rivers” policy of hydroelectric development on the Peace and Columbia rivers from 1962 to 1985. Clearly written and based on extensive research into academic and archival sources,...

By Jenny Clayton

Book Review

A Walk with the Rainy Sisters: In Praise of British Columbia’s Places

Following in the footsteps of Roderick Haig Brown’s Measure of the Year, Stephen Hume has chosen to tell many tales, some celebratory and some cautionary, to the rhythm of a passing year. Like Grant Lawrence’s...

By Howard Stewart

Book Review

Militant Minority: British Columbia Workers and the Rise of a New Left, 1948-1972

Labour historians have been arguing about the left in British Columbia politics and labour for ages. Now, through a skilful conversion of his 2008 University of New Brunswick dissertation “Tug of War,” University of Victoria...

By Ron Verzuh

Book Review

Vancouver’s Bessborough Armoury: a History. Vancouver: The Fifteenth Field Artillery

Victor Stevenson’s longstanding personal and professional attachment to Vancouver’s Bessborough Armoury is reflected in his concise and well-researched account of the building’s history. Having served as both honourary colonel of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment,...

By James Wood

Book Review

Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture.

The unique circumstances of indigenous women are often overlooked in the literature on both mainstream feminism and indigenous activism. Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture is thus a welcome addition to the existing scholarship....

By Tina Block

Book Review

City of Love and Revolution: Vancouver in the Sixties

Lawrence Aronsen’s handsomely-illustrated City of Love and Revolution examines a period of Vancouver’s history that still resonates. The latest contribution to a growing literature on the Sixties in Canada, the book also contributes to contemporary...

By Matt Cavers



John Calvert is an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University where he teaches public policy. During the 1990s, he worked in the provincial government’s Crown Corporations Secretariat, the central government agency overseeing BC Hydro. He also served on the Integrated Electricity Planning Committee of BC Hydro during 2004-05. He is the author of a number of books, including Liquid Gold: Energy Privatization in British Columbia (2007). He has a PhD from the London School of Economics.

Marjorie Griffin Cohen is an economist who is a professor of Political Science as well as a professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She has written in the areas of public policy and political economy with special emphasis on issues concerning electricity and energy deregulation, labour, women, international trade agreements, and the Canadian economy. Her most recent books are Public Policy for Women (University of Toronto Press) and Remapping Gender in the New Global Order (Routledge). Professor Cohen has served on several boards and commissions, including the Board of Directors of BC Hydro, the Board of Directors of BC Power Exchange, and the Board of Directors of NewGrade Energy in Saskatchewan.

Cole Harris is an emeritus professor of geography at the University of British Columbia and the author of many books and articles on early Canada, among them The Reluctant Land: Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation (2008) and Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance, and Reserves in British Columbia (2002), both published by UBC Press.

Duff Sutherland teaches history in the School of University Arts and Sciences at Selkirk College. He has published articles and reviews in Labour/Le Travail, Newfoundland Studies, and BC Studies. Among his teaching areas are the First Nations of Canada and the West Kootenay. He is working on a people’s history of the West Kootenay.

Myler Wilkinson is co-founder of the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College as well as director of the Centre for Russian and North American Studies. He has published several books on Russian and North American cultures, including: Hemingway and Turgenev: The Nature of Literary Influence; The Dark Mirror: American Literary Response to Russia; and Russian Journal: A Personal Memoir. He is co-editor, with David Stouck, of two books on the cultural and literary history of British Columbia: West by Northwest: BC Short Stories and Genius of Place: Writing about British Columbia. The work published here represents an ongoing commitment to histories embedded in place – most specifically, the lives of people at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia rivers.

Ron Verzuh is a writer and historian currently working on his doctoral dissertation in history at Simon Fraser University. His topic: labour and social relations in Trail, British Columbia, from 1935 to 1955. He is a retired national communications director for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and author of three books, several monographs, and numerous articles.