Category Archives: Book Review

Passage to Promise Land: Voices of Chinese Immigrant Women to Canada, by Vivienne Poy

By Cristina Pietropaolo Passage to Promise Land: Voices of Chinese Immigrant Women to Canada is a thoroughly researched and eloquent documentation of the experiences of twenty-eight women of different ages (the oldest in their nineties and the youngest in their thirties) who emigrated from the southern coastal region of China to Canada between 1950 and 1990. Vivienne Poy, an historian,… Read more »

Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History by Sean Kheraj

By Lani Russwurm It would be difficult to overstate the significance of Stanley Park to Vancouver’s identity. Visiting the park is obligatory for tourists, and locals from across the spectrum use it frequently for a myriad of activities. But the feature that distinguishes Stanley Park from most other large urban parks is its large forest that serves as a refreshing… Read more »

Who? The Canadian Rangers?

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Reviewed by Anne Marie Goodfellow Hands up if you’ve heard of the Canadian Rangers. Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of them either before reading this book. The Canadian Rangers are a component of the Canadian Forces (CF) who operate at a local level with community volunteers in Canada’s sparsely populated northern and coastal areas. As an anthropologist with a good… Read more »

Faster Than a Speeding Canoe: ‘The Superheroes’ of the Fur Trade

By Eve Dutton There’s a certain image that the term “voyageur” conjures up in the Canadian consciousness: bearded, burly, and boastful rascals who prized their independence above all else, accomplished feats of superhuman strength and endurance, and braved the uncharted wilds with a song in their heart. This portrait of the voyageur has a long pedigree — it comes to… Read more »

Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD On the Canadian Prairies

Reviewed by Joanne Epp When University of Saskatchewan professor Erika Dyck began investigating the use of lysergic acid diethylamide (commonly known as LSD) in psychiatric research, she was surprised at what she found. LSD has a bad reputation, to say the least. It’s widely seen as a dangerous drug that leaves its victims permanently damaged and prone to debilitating flashbacks. LSD has… Read more »

Death or Deliverance: Canadian Courts Martial in the Great War

Reviewed by M. Wayne Cunningham On 27 March 1917, a cold wind blew, and showers of sleet rained down on the small village of Mont St. Eloi, located in northern France.  On this bleak day, a young Canadian soldier, twenty-one year-old Arthur Lemay, stood before a field general court martial, the army’s highest wartime court. He had been there before…. Read more »

An Unsettling Prairie History: A Review of James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains

By Kevin Plummer “Those Reserve Indians are in a deplorable state of destitution, they receive from the Indian Department just enough food to keep soul and body together, they are all but naked, many of them barefooted,” Lawrence Clarke wrote in 1880 of near-starvation Cree around Fort Carlton. “Should sickness break out among them in their present weakly state,” the… Read more »

Want to Review a Book for ActiveHistory.ca?

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Enjoy reading about the experiences of people who lived in the past?  Love learning about the history of places that mean something to you? ActiveHistory.ca is looking for people outside of the academic history community to review history books for us. Are you not an academic and a regular visitor to our site? Great! Consider writing a book review for us. You… Read more »

“Your revolution is over”: A Review of Stuart Henderson’s Making the Scene

By Kaitlin Wainwright  Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s Stuart Henderson University of Toronto Press, 2011 394 pages, Paperback and ebook $29.95, Cloth $70.00 Stuart Henderson’s Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s is an adventure back in time to Yorkville at what many would consider the pinnacle of its cultural history. Fifty… Read more »

Not All Resource Towns Are Created Alike

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By Kayla Jonas Galvin  Company Towns: Corporate Order and Community Neil White University of Toronto Press, 2012 Cloth $55.00, ebook $54.95 I chose to review Neil White’s Company Towns: Corporate Order and Community because of my recent involvement in an interesting project within a company town, Kapuskasing, Ontario. For those unfamiliar with the term, a company town is one that… Read more »