Book Reviews (Page 2)

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 →

Red River Girl: The life and death of Tina Fontaine by Joanna Jolly. Penguin Random House Canada, 304 pages. $24.95 paperback, $11.99 E-Book. A lot of Canadians were puzzled by one of the conclusions in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG). The inquiry found that the tragic number of women involved amounted to an act of genocide. A new book by British journalist Joanna Jolly helps us understand the truth behind the inquiry’s conclusions. Red River Girl tells the story of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Indigenous woman murdered in Winnipeg in 2014. Although a manRead More →

I must admit it. I liked the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. I watched it twice, then borrowed Shirley Jackson’s novel from the library. I was, at first, sixth in line for the only copy they have, but all things come to those who wait. Especially library books. There were five other people waiting in line when I brought it back. Then I found a copy of the 1963 Robert Wise movie The Haunting in The Beat Goes On, one of Guelph’s used stuff shops. It was a much more faithful and straightforward adaptation of the novel than Netflix provided. I wasRead More →

A Chance to Fight Hitler: a Canadian volunteer in the Spanish Civil War by David Goutor. Between the Lines, Toronto, 2018. Eighty years ago, much of western Europe fell under the yoke of extreme right-wing governments. Hitler was in power in Germany, Salazar ruled Portugal, Mussolini held Italy and Generalissimo Francisco Franco led a military uprising against the newly elected government of Spain. There was democratic opposition in each of those countries, but it was ruthlessly suppressed. Fascism consolidated its grip on power in the face of this popular resistance. In many ways the world has changed since 1937. Still, the more things change, theRead More →