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Book & Film Reviews

book film review

Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America, 1792: Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra and the Nootka Sound Controversy

The heart of this work, and its raison d’être, is the report of Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, dated 2 February 1793 at San Blas, Mexico. This document is not a diary or...

By Barry Gough


book film review

Is it a house? Archaeological Excavations at English Camp, San Juan Island, Washington

Synthesizing archaeological research results from the Salish Sea can be a time-consuming task because of the international boundary that currently divides the region. This is further complicated by the rise of cultural resource management archaeology...

By Duncan McLaren


book film review

Exploring Fort Vancouver

This fine volume is truly a “must” for those with more than a passing interest in the origins of the multi-ethnic area of the Pacific Northwest Coast, from the Aboriginal inhabitants to the eighteenth and...

By Stanley Copp


book film review

Canada’s Entrepreneurs: From the Fur Trade to the 1929 Stock Market Crash: Portraits from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

The editors of Canada’s Entrepreneurs assembled this book to appeal to a wide variety of Canadian readers (including non-academics), to inspire instructors to incorporate more business history into their courses, and to showcase the Dictionary...

By Ted Binnema


book film review

Kilts on the Coast: The Scots Who Built BC

Despite the title, this is not a comprehensive history of the Scots in British Columbia. The best overview remains the BC chapter in Ferenc Morton Szasz, Scots in the North American West, 1790-1917 (2000), which...

By Jack Little


book film review

Caring and Compassion: A History of the Sisters of St. Ann in Health Care in British Columbia

Today, Mount St. Mary Hospital, an extended care facility in Victoria, is one of the last visible legacies of the Sisters of St. Ann’s contributions to health care in British Columbia. But for more than...

By Lisa Pasolli


book film review

The Principal’s Office – And Beyond, Volumes 1 (1849-1960) and Volume 2 (1961-2005)

This study considers the development of public education in British Columbia mainly from the perspective of school principals. The author is a prominent scholar in the field of education history and a provocative critic of...

By Patrick Dunae


book film review

The Library Book: a History of Service to British Columbia

Accepting the challenge to produce, within a fixed deadline, a comprehensive overview of the evolution of libraries in British Columbia must have been daunting. Works of this sort are most often destined to grow old,...

By Tom Shorthouse


book film review

Liberalism, Surveillance, and Resistance: Indigenous Communities in Western Canada, 1877-1927

The negotiation and signing of the numbered treaties with First Nations groups in Western Canada, followed shortly thereafter by the opening of the territory to Euro-Canadian settlement, served to consolidate the country’s sovereignty over the...

By Heather Devine


book film review

Creative Subversions: Whiteness, Indigeneity, and the National Imaginary

In Creative Subversions, Margot Francis starts from the premise that some of the key images that inform Canadian national identity, such as the beaver, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), national parks, and Indians are “public...

By Chris Herbert


book film review

Retail Nation: Department Stores and the Making of Modern Canada

Retail Nation is a thought-provoking study of the intersection between a rapidly growing consumer economy and the formation of culture and identity in Canada between 1890 and 1940. During this period, argues Donica Belisle, department...

By Nicolas Kenny


book film review

The Good Hope Cannery: Life and Death at a Salmon Cannery

Until post-war technology allowed for the centralization of salmon canning, the industry relied on numerous canneries located close to the fishing grounds. More than 200 canneries were scattered along the BC coast, and apart from...

By Kenneth Campbell


book film review

Our Friend Joe: The Joe Fortes Story

As one Daily Province journalist put it in 1916, “to write an article about English Bay without referring to Joe Fortes, would be like Hamlet without the Prince” (118). For nearly forty years the legendary...

By John Belshaw


book film review

Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West

  Nayan Shah observes that historians get it wrong when they privilege permanent populations over transient, the nuclear family over other domestic arrangements, and polarized rather than various gender roles. He complains – fairly —...

By Hugh Johnston


book film review

Lillian Alling: The Journey Home

In 1929, Lillian Alling reached the coast of Alaska on her way to Siberia. Her three-year walk across North America began in New York City and ended at Cape Wales where her footsteps disappeared after...

By PearlAnn Reichwein


book film review

I Just Ran: Percy Williams, World’s Fastest Human

A feature attraction at the 2012 London Olympics will be Jamaican Usain Bolt’s attempt to repeat his feat from four years ago in Beijing of winning gold medals in both the men’s 100m and 200m...

By Russell Field


book film review

V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

V6A is a postal code prefix in Vancouver. It is, thus, an artificial geographical space defined by a bureaucracy housed far from V6A itself. It runs from Burrard Inlet south to False Creek and Great...

By John Belshaw


book film review

The Encyclopedia of Commercial Drive to 1999

Cafes, pasta and pizza restaurants, very affordable produce markets, carnivalesque community events, and grassroots political demonstrations: all of these are the kaleidoscope one envisions when picturing the East side Vancouver neighbourhood of Grandview. The retail...

By Vanessa Colantonio


book film review

The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thorton

Sheryl Salloum’s new book The Life and Art of Mildred Valley Thornton explores why this important BC artist has generally been ignored in the historical record and cultural landscape of this province. Given that she...

By Erin Ramlo


book film review

The Opening Act: Canadian Theatre History 1945-1953

The writing of Canadian Theatre History, as an academic field of study, is a latecomer, with the first wave of academic articles and books appearing only in the mid-1970s along with the founding the Association...

By James Hoffman


book film review

Architecture and the Canadian Fabric

Broad in scope and filled with both insight and intriguing fact, Architecture and the Canadian Fabric positions itself in a productive cleft between architectural and political discussion — discussion largely attentive to the perennial interest...

By Christopher Macdonald


book film review

Edward S. Curtis, Above the Medicine Line: Portraits of Aboriginal Life in the Canadian West

Of all the dozens of professional photographers who have directed their cameras at North America’s first human settlers, no name is more synonymous with the words Indian and photographer than that of Edward S. Curtis...

By David Mattison


book film review

Taking My Life

In 2008, when researching Canadian women authors, Linda Morra discovered an unpublished autobiography written by Jane Rule in the 1980s, just before her retirement from writing, in which she recounts with frankness and humour her...

By Cameron Duder


book film review

Long Beach Wild: A Celebration of People and Place on Canada’s Rugged Western Shore

Long Beach Wild is the kind of book that academics are often quick to dismiss. It’s popular history, after all (academics, of course, preferring unpopular histories), by a freelance writer whose many previous works include...

By Philip Van Huizen


book film review

The Sunshine Coast from Gibsons to Powell River

   Heather Harbord’s Texada Tapestry: A History is the only one of these three books that calls itself “a history.” Yet together they illustrate the remarkable range of local histories coming out of coastal British...

By Howard Stewart


Contributors

Contributors

Sara Giest is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, in the Department of Political Science. She holds an MA in Society, Science and Technology Studies from Aalborg and Lund University followed by a completion of an MA at Bonn University in the field of Political Science. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of network management for cluster development and policies. As a research assistant she is looking at the use of place-based tools in climate change networks in cooperation with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (pics).

Barry Gough, PhD, DLit, is a private scholar living in Victoria, BC. Author of histories and biographies dating from his The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914: A Study of British Maritime Ascendancy, which inaugurated UBC Press in 1971, his most recent book is Juan de Fuca’s Strait: Voyages in the Waterway of Forgotten Dreams (Harbour 2012). He prepared the historical claims dossier for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in the Meares Island case Moses Marting et al. v. H.M. the Queen et al. He is Emeritus Professor of History, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Michael Howlett (Professor) BSocSci.(Hon)(Ott), MA(Br Col), PhD (Queen’s) is Burnaby Mountain Chair in the Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University and Yong Pung How Chair Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He specializes in public policy analysis, political economy, and resource and environmental policy. He is the author of Canadian Public Policy (2013) and Designing Public Policy (2011), and coauthor of The Public Policy Primer (2010), and Integrated Policymaking for Sustainable Development (2009), among other books.

Ian Pooley is an Okanagan historian. He recently published a study in the Okanagan Historical Society 76th Report on early railway barge transportation in the Okanagan and is currently working on a project on Okanagan social history.

Richard Rajala is an associate professor of History at the University of Victoria where he teaches British Columbia, Canadian, and environmental history. His current research focus is on the history of tourism in Vancouver Island resource-dependent communities.