Alain Deneault and William Sacher . Imperial Canada Inc. Legal Haven of Choice for the World’s Mining Industries 2012. Talonbooks, Vancouver, Canada

Review by Theresa Wolfwood   “This book is intended to provide Canadians and international public opinion with tools to help it ask critical questions about Canadian activities in the south and in Eastern Europe, as well as about the role of the Canadian government in relation to these activities.” This meticulously documented analysis- really an exposé - provides the background and historical context for Canada’s role in supporting the exploitation by mining industries around the world.  What Liberia is to shipping companies, Read more [...]

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Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin.THE SETTLER’S COOKBOOK: A Memoir of Love, Migration and Food. 2008. Portobello Books. London, UK. ISBN 978-1-84627-083-3

Review by Theresa Wolfwood  In her dedication the author thanks her mother for the gifts of “mettle, a wakeful conscience...and a precious supply of inventive recipes that tell our story.” This very personal and frank autobiography shows how well the author, a writer, teacher and mother, has used these gifts to make a life for herself and her family in England after she is forced, along with thousands of others of Asian descent, to leave Uganda when Idi Amin came to power. Alibhai-Brown needed the nettle to overcome the vicissitudes Read more [...]

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LEILA KHALED: Icon of Palestinian Liberation. Sarah Irving. 2012. Pluto Press, UK. ISBN 978-0-7453-2951-2

Review by Theresa Wolfwood “I believe in my people and I believe that we have people all around the world supporting us.” While most women in the late sixties worried about the length of their miniskirt, one of their contemporaries was worried about the occupation of her homeland and the forced exile of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, including herself. Leila Khaled became famous for her airplane hijacking; famous as a woman and as a Palestinian woman. The author based her research for the book on records of the past and Khaled’s Read more [...]

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Yves Engler. THE UGLY CANADIAN: Stephen Harper’s foreign policy. 2012. RED Publishing & Fernwood Publishing. Canada ISBN978-1-55266-530-5

Review by Theresa Wolfwood “We should be clear that foreign military inventions kill and that the Conservatives’ climate change policy is devastating many of the world’s most vulnerable.” Engler is rapidly becoming one of Canada’s major political researchers & analysts. This is his latest of six books on topics ranging from Haiti to Palestine. His last book was an analysis of Lester Pearson’s political career and legacy. Harper is what we have now, even if, as Engler reminds us, he only received 39% of our votes. Since taking Read more [...]

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Webber, Jeffrey R. From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales. 2011. Haymarket Books, Chicago, Ill. USA.

When I learned that Bolivia’s government has decided to rid the country of Coca Cola by the end of 2012 and that McDonald’s fast food is leaving Bolivia because it can’t sell its products due to what the company claims is a ‘cultural boycott’, I decided it was time to re-read this book and learn more about one of South America’s poorest countries where resource exploitation by imperial powers has dominated governments and the lives of the mainly indigenous peoples of Bolivia for centuries. Webber, a UK academic, has written an extensively Read more [...]

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The New Internationalist: The people, the ideas, the actions in the fight for global justice Monthly periodical. Published in UK, Canada and Australia.

This monthly magazine (NI) has been a constant source of inspiration and information for many years. NI is published by a collective in UK, Canada, and Australasia with contributions from many parts of the world. Every colourful, well illustrated issue has a special focus, over the thirty years of publication that has included specific countries, issues like AIDS, water, Climate Change, Slavery, Fair Trade, and Human Rights. Every issue has stories of success, as well as actions and analysis. The August, 2003 issue is Songs of Dissent: the Politics Read more [...]

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Zelter, Angie, editor. Faslane 365: a year of anti—nuclear blockades. 2008. Luath Press Limited, Scotland.

“We´re here at the gates of hell/ in the hills of Scotland…singing hope into life.” This amazing book is a political treatise, personal journals, lively commentary, an invaluable history and a guidebook to sustained activism, all in one volume. This is a work to be read and consulted for many years by activists everywhere. Activist Angie Zelter and her friends contemplated the weakening of the UK peace movement and its lack of energy in 2005. Instead of moaning and hand wringing they created an ambitious plan to galvanize British activists. Read more [...]

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Yeomans, Matthew. Oil: Anatomy of an Industry. 2004. The New Press. New York, USA & london, UK.

Don’t be deceived by the light and breezy style of this USA journalist – this is a serious and useful work. Single substance topics have become very popular with writers; everything from salt to saffron gets a book of its own. But few substances are as important and universal as oil and Yeomans does an excellent survey, from a USA perspective, of elaborating the significance of oil in our daily lives; he details the history, geography and geopolitics and global oil supplies and use. Whatever the USA does to satisfy its addiction to petroleum Read more [...]

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Wilson, Duff. Fateful Harvest: True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry and a Toxic Secret. Perennial/ HarperCollins Publishers. 2002. New York, USA.

  “The Soil is ours to make or mar, and we should aim to leave it when the time comes for us to pass it on, in as good or better condition than when it first came under our hand.” Seager Wheeler, famous Canadian farmer, 1919 see www.seagerwheelerfarm.org “Topsoil is more vital to human survival than almost any other resource, for without topsoil we cannot feed ourselves.” Michael S. Northcott, quoted in book’s introduction. When the author was contacted by an irate small town mayor who claimed toxic elements in fertilizers Read more [...]

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Williams, Terry Tempest. REFUGE: An Unnatural History of Family & Place. 2002. Vintage Books.

In this beautifully written memoir of a naturalist and her love of place about the Great Salt Lake of Utah and the nearby sanctuary, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, both essential parts of her professional life, the author describes and illuminates her experiences, insights, and reflections in stories of lyric prose. Her life is relevant to many of us who both reflect and agonize about ethics and political activism as we seek meaning and hope in our brief lives. “It is a fertile community where the hope of each day rides on the back of Read more [...]

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Wiles, Rich. Behind the Wall: Love, life and struggle in Palestine. 2010. Potomac Books. Virginia, USA.

“…it is a vehicle through which Palestinians themselves tell their own stories. While many people have an opinion about the Middle East, very few have actually listened to the people who have themselves suffered and struggled for more than 60 years…Palestinians have struggled…with profound dignity and humanity, while exhibiting inspirational sumoud (steadfastness).” Wiles is a photographer and his writing is like printed photos; he is true to his words, he lets the Palestinians in these stories speak directly for themselves. Every Read more [...]

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White, Evelyn C. Alice Walker. W. W. Norton & Company Ltd. USA. 2004.

Despite the Hunger Despite the hunger we cannot possess more than this: Peace in a garden of our own. Alice Walker (2003) This is more than a biography of a famous – still living and active – USA writer, poet and activist. It is a powerful history of the USA from the rare point of view of a woman, a woman of colour and an artist and social activist. The subject of the biography herself says Social Action is The Rent We Pay for Living on This Earth. All the rich and complex threads of a life lived with courage, creativity and honesty Read more [...]

Filed under Book Reviews, Evelyn C. White