Articles Reviews

  • Compassion as social policy

    Finkel’s study makes a significant contribution to the literature on social history and policy. For researchers interested in comparative or cross-national comparative social policy studies, this book is foundational. Compassion is also an essential resource for those who study history, sociology, political science, social administration, social policy and social work.

  • “A world of people without a people”

    This masterful exegesis tells of a group of thinkers who formulated the assumptions and prescriptions of global neoliberalism. This intellectual history tells of their underlying nostalgia for the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First World War when beliefs about the smooth functioning of the old order ignored its exploitation of the majority of the people and of the resources in the world.

  • Dishonouring the “Treaty Bundle”

    No Surrender: The Land Remains Indigenous is an important work on Canadian colonialism from the perspective of colonized people, although the author himself is Euro-Canadian. Krasowski emphasizes that treaties involved both Indigenous and new Canadians and both sides have rights and responsibilities as a result of the “Treaty Bundle.”

  • Murder Bay: Investigations into the deaths of Indigenous youth

    Talaga, in her book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, and Anishnaabe comedian Ryan McMahon, in a five-part podcast series, Thunder Bay, aim to reveal the scandalous and shameful nature of the city and to expose the consequences of that nature, primarily through a study of the auspicious deaths of several Indigenous teenagers.

  • Midsommar Madness: the problematic portrayal of Bipolar Disorder in Film

    Writers need to develop characters without taking the easy way out. Using bipolar disorder or any other mental illness as a shortcut to explaining character’s murderous motivation is too easy and too wrong. Your neighbor, friend, or coworker with bipolar disorder is not some blood thirsty killer just waiting to emerge when the meds wear off. They are people just like the rest of us, with unique personality traits that probably don’t include the insatiable desire to kill, kill, kill.

  • Seizing the means of (data) production

    Unpredictability, economic unpredictability in particular, means that it’s never a good idea to leave things without a good plan. A truly free market is chaotic and leaves too much room for the possibility of failure, especially for the wealthy and well-endowed. A good plan, however, limits the possibility of failure and tries to make things work for the best possible outcomes. But in the absence of democratic control over planning, who sees the rewards of those best possible outcomes?

  • Lessons from Strikes Past

    Direct Action Gets the Goods is the latest graphic novel from the Graphic History Collective along with artists Althea Balmes, Gord Hill, Orion Keresztesi, and David Lester. It is slim volume but it packs a punch. Subtitled A Graphic History of The Strike in Canada, it does not purport to be a comprehensive history of every strike throughout Canadian history.

  • 1919: A Powerful Interpretation of Canada’s Most Famous Strike

    Crucially, the book perceptively roots the origins of the Strike in the systematic dispossession and genocide of the Indigenous peoples who called these lands home. Capital’s dominance of the city and its environs would have been impossible without it. Along this line, the book does well to connect the events in Winnipeg to working-class protest across Canada and the globe.

  • He also writes thrillers ... and good ones, too

    Fletcher is also adept at intersecting his political concerns with convincing references to jazz (Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard), appropriate food fixes (Portuguese linguica sandwiches, for example), and much else. In such ways, the book feels especially “real.” Moreover, the centrality of the Cape Verdean connection draws the various mentions of Cabral and African struggles into the story quite seamlessly. These latter realities remain important right up to the last chapter.

  • Pushing back on Canada’s war on drug users

    Every night that Overdose Prevention Ottawa ran its illegal supervised injection site, we opened with a ritual: a moment of silence for everyone we’d lost to the war on drug users and to recognize the shit disturbers who came before us — those who made our work possible. In his book Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction, Travis Lupick tells the story of those organizers and their incredible impact.

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