Paul Palango’s ‘22 Murders’ paints a bleak picture of RCMP inaction
Investigative journalist and author Paul Palango has written an excellent book, 22 Murders: Investigating the Massacres, Cover-up and Obstacles to Justice in Nova Scotia, documenting the Portapique massacre, the deadliest killing spree in Canadian history. As Judy Haiven writes, the book presents what might be the strongest argument for defunding and disbanding the RCMP.
Still hopeful after all these years
Maude Barlow’s latest book, Still Hopeful, is an eloquent and personal account of her experience of more than four decades as an organizer, activist, and writer in her fight against greed, patriarchy, pollution, and inequality, among other evils. Barlow’s writing is clear and concise, and her narrative is enhanced by personal stories gained over her decades of fighting for social and environmental justice.
The impasse of the Latin American left
The Impasse of the Latin American Left presents a valuable analysis that contributes to the understanding of the Pink Tide phenomenon, but, in my opinion, doesn’t tell the whole story. Errors and shortcomings have to be contextualized not by simply recognizing the existence of adverse conditions but by addressing the issue of the feasibility of options.
It is the year 2025. The war in Donbas is over and the National Guard of Ukraine has emerged victorious against the Russians. What’s left of the Donetsk Basin is a scarred landscape of flooded mines, unexploded ordnance, and bodies yet to be buried. This is the story at the heart of director Valentyn Vasyanovych’s festival darling Atlantis, Ukraine’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards.
Nora Loreto’s ‘Spin Doctors’ is a book everyone in Canada should read
Rather than treading over ground that other journalists and writers have covered, Nora Loreto has done something very different with her new book, Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic. Loreto writes about work and workers and what has happened to them during the pandemic. She writes well, with her eyes open and fueled by a wry sense of humour.
Caroline Elkins explores the ruthless violence and ideology of the British Empire
Legacy of Violence constructs a longue durée view of the British Empire, beginning in the late 1700s and moving through the Victorian era, the World Wars, the “imperial resurgence” of post-Second World War Britain, the “new liberal imperialism” of the Blair government, and the comparatively recent rise of right wing imperial nostalgists such as Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.
Canadian internationalists and the people’s war against apartheid
Histories of internationalism are often dominated by European accounts, from volunteers in the Spanish Civil War to foreign fighters in the French resistance. But there exists a growing literature on those anti-colonial internationalists who challenged empire at home and abroad. In this vein, an important new book sheds light on a group of Canadian volunteers involved in the armed struggle against apartheid South Africa.
Every weakness is claimed as strength
Public discourse regarding the pandemic has eroded, with disinformation campaigns and lab leak theories reaching wide distribution, which has furthered the conspiratorial discourse against China as a civilizational enemy. These dire conditions make Chuang’s book, Social Contagion: and Other Material on Microbiological Class War in China, including a revised version of the titular essay, all the more critical.
‘Don’t Look Up’ or: How Adam McKay learned to keep worrying and love the nihilism
At best, Adam McKay’s new Netflix film, Don’t Look Up (2021), is an emotional salve for those activists and climate scientists experiencing frustration at government inaction on climate change, and the media’s failure to inspire a response to the Anthropocene. For others who are already familiar with these inglorious trends, McKay preaches to the choir without offering any viable road to salvation.
Cheri DiNovo reflects on life as a queer evangelist
Cheri DiNovo is a well known figure among activists, including the queer community, progressive religious groups, and socialists in Toronto. This autobiographical book is a remarkable story of transformation, a perspective on challenging church and state (both from within and from without) and coming away victorious after a life of “speaking truth to power.”
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