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Book & Film Reviews

book film review

Home Truths: Highlights from BC History

As co-editors of BC Studies, Richard Mackie and Graeme Wynn surveyed all the essays published in the journal since it first appeared in 1968 before deciding to focus on what they concluded were two dominant...

By J.I. Little


book film review

Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies

This brilliant volume of comparative law is written by four distinguished Indigenous legal academic specialists, from the United States (Eastern Shawnee Tribe), New Zealand (Maori — Ngati Rawkawa and Ngati Ranginui), Australia (Eualayai/Gammilaroi), and Canada...

By Daniel Clayton


book film review

Mystery Islands: Discovering the Ancient Pacific

Drawing on experience gained from travel writing assignments, Salt Spring author Tom Koppel tackles an ambitious subject, the peopling of the Pacific Ocean, with a book of interesting anecdotes and information set within a larger,...

By Chris Arnett


book film review

Discovering Totem Poles: A Traveller’s Guide

This well-illustrated and modest in size guidebook presents totem poles that a tourist could see on a trip from Seattle, Washington, to Juneau, Alaska. The focus in not on totem poles as art objects displaying...

By Alan Hoover


book film review

Seekers and Travellers: Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Seekers and Travellers is the final volume in a trilogy of popular publications by Gary Wyatt that showcase contemporary Northwest Coast art. It follows the format of the previous books, Faces: Contemporary Masks of the...

By Martha Black


book film review

Company, Crown and Colony: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Territorial Endeavour in Western Canada

In essence, this is a study of governorship, or governorships — Richard Blanshard to Frederick Seymour, with Sir James Douglas as the centrepiece of description. The addition of many charts and tables lend it an...

By Barry Gough


book film review

Gathering Places: Aboriginal and Fur Trade Histories

Academic publishers seem to be shying away from festschriften these days, but there are good reasons for UBC Press to buck that trend with this book. The long-standing academic tradition of a scholar’s colleagues and...

By Scott Stephen


book film review

Finding a Way to the Heart: Feminist Writings on Aboriginal and Women’s History in Canada

As recently as forty years ago, Sylvia Van Kirk sat in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives in London and asked a completely new question of the business papers of this iconic and long-standing company: “Where...

By Frieda Klippenstein


book film review

Craigflower Country: A History of View Royal, 1850-1950

Craigflower country was the area of greater Victoria between the waters of the Gorge waterway and Esquimalt harbour. Today it is within the town of View Royal, to the northwest of the city. Craigflower was...

By Deidre Simmons


book film review

Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America

Graphic texts are becoming increasingly popular as a way of telling history. Within three months of its official launch, David Wong’s Escape from Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America made...

By LiLynn Wan


book film review

Gateway to Promise: Canada’s First Japanese Community

  The authors, Ann-Lee Switzer and Gordon Switzer are both historians and writers with an interest in the Japanese Canadian experience. Gateway to Promise: Canada’s First Japanese Community is a rich history of the Japanese...

By Masako Fukawa, Stanley Fukawa


book film review

Jewels of the Qila: The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family

Jewels of the Qila: The Remarkable Story of an Indo-Canadian Family, finds Hugh Johnston, the leading expert on early South Asian migration to Canada, on familiar terrain. This time Johnston provides a rare familial and...

By Ali Kazimi


book film review

Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918-20

Epidemics call out the ambulance-chaser in all of us, and for health historians, there is none more attention-grabbing than the 1918-20 influenza pandemic, mistakenly dubbed the “Spanish Flu,” the only infectious disease to stop the...

By Megan Davies


book film review

The Amazing Foot Race of 1921: Halifax to Vancouver in 134 Days

Three teams left Halifax in a 3,645-mile pedestrian race to Vancouver in 1921. Amateur sportsman Charles Burkman was first to head west on 17 January, followed a few days later by Jack and Clifford Behan,...

By PearlAnn Reichwein


book film review

Who Killed Janet Smith?

In late July 1924 in a house in the upper crust neighbourhood of Shaughnessy Heights, Vancouver, around midday, a Scots nursemaid was found dead in the basement by the Chinese “house boy,” Wing Fong Sing....

By John McLaren


book film review

Bluebacks and Silver Brights: A Lifetime in the BC Fisheries From Bounty to Plunder

For sixty years the Campbell Avenue fish dock on Burrard Inlet was the hub of Vancouver’s fishing industry, home to numerous fish plants, smokehouses, and floats where the boats tied up. The Safarik family business,...

By Kenneth Campbell


book film review

A Wilder West: Rodeo in Western Canada

This is a book about people in small towns in the west, and the rodeos that have provided ways to negotiate their complex social, economic, and cultural relationships with each other and with the animals...

By J. Chamberlin


book film review

Flyover: British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. An Aviation Legacy

In his latest publication, Chris Harris views the Cariboo, Chilcotin, and Coast region of south central British Columbia, the base for his numerous books, from a new perspective derived from a series of flights over...

By Jay Sherwood


book film review

Trucking in British Columbia: An Illustrated History

Historians of British Columbia have devoted considerable attention to how its economy and social geography were shaped by different kinds of transportation, from sailing vessels and trails to wagon roads and railways. However, automobiles and...

By Ben Bradley


book film review

Liquor, Lust and The Law: The Story of Vancouver’s Legendary Penthouse Nightclub

Up to now, local venue histories have not been in great supply. Should they become a trend among British Columbia historians, Aaron Chapman’s Liquor, Lust and the Law may be seen as a pioneering effort....

By Vanessa Colantonio


book film review

In the Mind of a Mountie

T.M. “Scotty” Gardiner’s memoir, In the Mind of a Mountie, fits nicely into the genre of heroic Mountie literature that has enjoyed a popular readership since the late nineteenth century. Gardiner, who served with the...

By Bonnie Schmidt


book film review

Pinboy

Pinboy is a tender account of an adolescent penis growing up in the South Okanagan around 1950. Because it is attached to a gawky, bright, funny, boy who loved reading enough to carry cowboy novels...

By David Tracey


book film review

Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page

“ Who am I,” asks the narrator in an early poem, “Arras,” by P.K. Page, “or, who am I become…?”  (144). It’s a question Page was to return to many times, in both her literary...

By Barbara Peace


book film review

Bob Lenarduzzi: A Canadian Soccer Story

John Furlong’s book is neither an autobiography nor a history of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is a personal memoir by the CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Games (VANOC), written with the...

By Eric W. Sager


Contributors

Contributors

Nicholas Bradley is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on the literary traditions of the Pacific Coast of Canada and the United States.
Shannon Croft is currently pursuing her PhD in archaeology at the University of York, England, where she is continuing her microscopic studies of hunter-gatherer lifeways. As part of the POSTGLACIAL project at the Star Carr site, her research goal is to establish the role of stone tools in shaping social responses to climate change and to develop an integrated “forensic” approach to the analysis of the artifactual and molecular debris left by human activity. As well, she is undertaking the Professional Specialization Certificate in Museum Collections Management at the University of Victoria, BC. Shannon’s current interests include: paleoethnobotany, microscopic residue analysis, the British Mesolithic period, museum exhibit curation, and public outreach in archaeology.
Marina La Salle studies heritage in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Anthropology. Her current research looks at ideology and the social construction of “nature” in Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
Rolf Mathewes is a full professor of Biological Sciences and an associate member of the archaeology department at Simon Fraser University since 1975. His research interests focus on paleoenvironmental reconstruction using pollen, spores, and plant macrofossils from sediments, peat bogs, and archaeological sites, mostly in Western Canada. He has a BSc in biology from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in botany from the University of British Columbia in 1973. He has also conducted research in Scotland, Switzerland, and in the Black Forest of Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow.
Daniel Ross is a PhD candidate in history at York University. His dissertation looks at how debates over public morality, development, and civic identity have played out on Toronto’s Yonge Street since the Second World War. He blogs at historiandanielross.com.
Ron Verzuh is a writer and historian currently completing his doctoral dissertation in history at Simon Fraser University. His topic: the labour and social relations that engulfed Trail, BC, 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. His last article in BC Studies was “The Smelter Poets: Worker Poetry Found in a Canadian Trade Union Newspaper in the ‘Age of the C10’.”