• Magazine

    On to Ottawa in marvelous, meandering prose

    In June 1935, hundreds of unemployed men took to the rails in what was dubbed the On to Ottawa Trek. The Time We All Went Marching is the story of one woman on the cusp of change.

  • Magazine

    Re-envisioning reconciliation

    What does reconciliation look like for Indigenous peoples in what is currently Canada? In part, argues Leanne Simpson in Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, it must take the form of the resurgence of Indigenous peoples’ political traditions in their nation-to-nation relationships with Canada.

  • Magazine

    Community organizing

    Those of us who are active in our communities, whether dealing with issues like homelessness or fundraising for a high school basketball team, have much to learn from the thoughts and insights of Joan Kuyek, whose experiences as a community organizer span some 30 years.

  • Magazine

    Peak oil for preteens

    Claudia Dávila’s debut graphic novel, Luz Sees the Light, sets Luz and her friends on a path to transform their fossil-fueled world.

  • Magazine

    Our way to fight

    In this book, you’ll meet Palestinians and Israelis whose struggles for peace, justice and an end to more than half a century of illegal dispossession and brutal occupation, belie the racism and harmful homogenising of history that fuel the current policies of the Zionist state.

  • Magazine

    Witch hunts past and present

    In the classic zine Witches, Midwives & Nurses: A History of Women Healers, republished as a book with a new introduction in 2010, authors Deirdre English and Barbara Ehrenreich provide an overview of the repression and exclusion of women lay healers in Europe and the United States. The authors explore the connection between the witch hunts in Europe and attempts to eliminate and discredit women healers, as well as the rise of an elitist and male-dominated medical establishment in the United States.

  • Magazine

    Twenty years since the blockades

    Leanne Simpson and Kiera Ladner’s new edited collection, This is an Honour Song, seeks to recognize the significance of the events at Kanehsatake for Indigenous peoples, as well as for Canada. The collection does not focus on rehashing the details of events at the pines (a number of good books already exist in this regard), but explores the broader resonance and echoes of the Kanien’kehaka resistance.

  • Magazine

    Pubs, pulpits and prairie fires

    Between 1929 and 1935, the Great Depression triggered Canada’s descent into what remains the worst economic downturn in the country’s history. By 1935, the number of jobless had topped one million. On June 3, 1935, over 1,200 unemployed and single men from British Columbia relief camps left Vancouver to “ride the rail” to Ottawa and deliver demands for work and wages to the Conservative government of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.

  • Magazine

    Empire of illusion

    The theme of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges’ new book is pretty straight­forward: no matter how you look at it, we’re hooped. “Our way of life is over” Hedges writes. “Our profligate consumption is finished. The good news, however, is that he looks at these desolate prospects from some awfully interesting perspectives, even if he is a bit short on solutions.

  • Magazine

    Canada’s black book

    The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy
    Yves Engler
    Fernwood, 2009

    It is commonplace even for critics of Canada’s role in Afghanistan and Haiti or of its vocal support for Israel’s recent military campaigns in Lebanon and Gaza to suggest that Canada has abandoned a long-standing tradition of being an honest broker in international politics, nurturing the idea that there is a mythical past in which Canada was an even-handed arbitrator of international conflict.

  • Magazine

    Canada’s rebellious era

    Canada’s 1960s is a magnificent achievement that distills the essence of the political and social upheavals that defined the 1960s in Canada. Palmer sets out to demonstrate that the 1960s transformed Canada in fundamental ways, and does so very convincingly.

  • Magazine

    Norman Bethune

    Was Dr. Norman Bethune truly an extraordinary Canadian? In a new biography of the medical pioneer who died in China in 1939 while serving Mao’s forces, Adrienne Clarkson takes the view that Bethune was profoundly Canadian in his world view, and that his work indeed had an extraordinary impact on the world.

  • Magazine

    Shifting down

    The current state of human affairs, characterized by rising levels of joblessness, depleted natural resources and deep-rooted attitudes of indifference and powerlessness to do anything about it, would prove little surprise to E.F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, a seminal text of ecological environmentalism first published in 1973.

  • Magazine

    Law & order

    Irvin Waller, a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, has made it his career and mission to get governments throughout much of the world to shift their emphasis from law enforcement to prevention, with some limited success. His book is a plaintive cry for movement by government in the direction of more attention to crime preventive approaches.

  • Magazine

    Dark days

    Dark Days is about the imprisonment and torture of four innocent Canadians in Syria in the furtherance of the so-called “war on terror” launched by George W. Bush. The four men, all Muslims, are Maher Ahar (361 days in Syrian detention), Abdullah Almalki (more than 22 months in Syria), Ahmad El Maati (two years, two months and two days in Syria and Egypt) and Muayyed Nureddin (34 days in Syria). Not one of them was ever charged with any crime.

  • Magazine

    Cruising the red meat district

    Carol Adams’ The Sexual Politics of Meat is an indictment of the gender politics inherent in a meat-eating culture. It’s also an indispensable resource for those who want to delve into the complex relationship between consumption, hierarchy and domination. With great clarity, Adams lays out the interconnectedness of meat eating and male dominance, of animal oppression and the oppression of women – in short, the sexual politics of meat.

  • Magazine

    The herbivore’s dilemma

    The Vegetarian Myth argues that strict vegetarianism is not the best diet for our health, for animals or for the planet. The stance is controversial in environmental and animal rights circles, but the subject matter is thoroughly explored, exhaustively researched and very persuasive. Keith is adamantly opposed to fast food and factory farming, but believes that strict vegetarianism isn’t the answer either, arguing instead for a sustainable food system based on mixed farming and a diet that includes moderate amounts of animal products.

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    Chow now

    Reading these three books was a humbling experience: Michael Pollan’s for his ability to bundle big ideas into digestible bites that would be easily remembered at the grocery store; Paul Roberts’ for his exacting detail about how nearly everything about the food system has gone so terribly wrong; and Wayne Roberts’ for the exciting thinking behind his policy suggestions on how to reorganize the food system.

  • Magazine

    Canada’s deadly secret

    Book review of Jim Harding’s -Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System_

  • Magazine

    The Deserter’s Tale: The story of an ordinary soldier who walked away from the war in Iraq

    Book review of The Deserter’s Tale: The story of an ordinary soldier who walked away from the war in Iraq