Alan Pickersgill (Page 2)

Chung Min Lee, The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un. St. Martin’s Press, 2019 As I began writing this book review, the American president, Donald Trump, fired John Bolton, his national security advisor. News reports said the two of them had a falling out over ways to deal with Iran, North Korea, and the Taliban. Bolton is a hawk in all three areas. He would happily go for military solutions while Trump says he wants to make deals. He just doesn’t see deal making as a two-way street. With Trump, it’s always “my way or the highway.” My guess is that theRead More →

A long time ago, a library was little more than a repository of books and a reading room. We could sit and read anything from a newly released novel to an old but unforgotten classic. We could read out of town newspapers and thumb through current issues of popular magazines. Or, we could borrow a book  and bring it home to read. A library became known as the university of the working class. As Daniel Quinn wrote in his novel Ishmail, “there is no secret knowledge; no one knows anything that can’t be found on a shelf in the public library.” Now they have evolved.Read More →

A couple of days ago, I went on Facebook and posted a photograph of Federal Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer posing with Ontario premier Doug Ford. There’s a third politician who would have been right at home in this photo op. Guelph’s mayor, Cam Guthrie, would fill out this unholy trinity of hypocritical politicians. Last February, Guthrie made his annual state of the city speech to the Chamber of Commerce. He threw a few nice words in the general direction of the Public Library: “The (capital) forecast …suggests the new main library on Baker Street start in 2021. This will be a major redevelopment projectRead More →

Lies Across America, James W. Loewen. The New Press, New York. Second Edition, 2019. I live in Guelph, a mid-sized city in Southern Ontario. We like to think of our home as a green and growing place, full of people who are alert to environmental and social justice. We think we know our history. Guelph was founded in 1827 by a Scottish novelist and businessman named John Galt. As a director of the Canada Company, it was his job to open the countryside for immigrant settlers. There’s a bronze and granite bust of him outside our former city hall downtown. It’s the courthouse now. There’sRead More →