2018 Book & Gift Guide

Our 15th annual advertising section offers a wide selection of books and gifts for Canadian history lovers.

Posted October 29, 2018

Symbols of Canada

edited by Michael Dawson, Catherine Gidney and Donald Wright

From Timbits to totem poles, Canada is boiled down to its syrupy core in symbolic forms that are reproduced not only on T-shirts, television, and tattoos but in classrooms, museums, and courtrooms too. Symbols of Canada gives us the real and surprising truth behind the most iconic Canadian symbols, revealing their contentious and often contested histories.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Muscle on Wheels: Louise Armaindo and the High-Wheel Racers of Nineteenth-Century America

by M. Ann Hall

A fascinating account of high-wheel bicycle racing and one of North America’s first women professional athletes, Muscle on Wheels tells the story of women’s high-wheel racing in North America in the 1880s and early 1890s, with a focus on a particular cyclist: Louise Armaindo (1857-1900). She was among Canada’s first women professional athletes and the first woman who was truly successful as a high-wheel racer.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

100th Anniversary of the Armistice (2018)

1/2 oz. Pure Silver Coin
from the Royal Canadian Mint

Honour the 100th Anniversary of the ceasefire that brought an end to the First World War with this commemorative pure silver coin from the Royal Canadian Mint.

Buy this gift from the Royal Canadian Mint

The Lamb and the Tiger: From Peacekeepers to Peacewarriors in Canada

by Stanley R. Barrett

Structured around an anti-war perspective, The Lamb and the Tiger critically examines the transformation of Canada from a peacekeeping to a war-making nation. The book encourages Canadians to think about what kind of military and what kind of country they really want.

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The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War

by Tim Cook

In The Secret History of Soldiers, Tim Cook, Canada’s foremost military historian, examines how those who survived trench warfare on the Western Front found entertainment, solace, relief, and distraction from the relentless slaughter.

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Canadian Confederate Cruiser: The Story of the Steamer Queen Victoria

by John G. Langley

Canadian Confederate Cruiser tells the story of an elegant but unpretentious steamer that bore witness to the birth of a nation. In 1864, the Queen Victoria took the Fathers of Confederation from Quebec to Charlottetown and back.

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Against the Current: The Remarkable Life of Agnes Deans Cameron

by Cathy Converse

Agnes Deans Cameron was an extraordinary woman who was ahead by a century. Born in Victoria in 1863, she was the first female school principal in B.C. and worked tirelessly to achieve work equality and voting rights for women. In the summer of 1906, Cameron travelled 10,000 miles down the Mackenzie River and out into the Beaufort Sea — something no other European woman had done.

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The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey

by Kristen den Hartog and Tracy Kasaboski

In this intimate family memoir, the authors trace their ancestors’ path to Canada using a single family’s saga to give meaningful context to a fascinating period in history — Victorian and then Edwardian England, World War I and the Depression. It offers a vibrant, absorbing look at the past that will captivate genealogy enthusiasts and readers of history alike.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

The True Face of Sir Isaac Brock

by Guy St-Denis

With painstaking research and rigorous analysis, Guy St-Denis separates fact from fiction and unwinds politics, propaganda and art history on the search for a true portrait of Sir Isaac Brock.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Beaver Bow Tie

made exclusively for Canada’s History

Beautiful woven all-silk bow tie — burgundy with small beaver images throughout. This bow tie was inspired by Pierre Berton, inaugural winner of the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media: The Pierre Berton Award, presented by Canada's History Society.

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The Homesteaders

by Sandra Rollings-Magnusson, foreword by Nadine Charabin

Stories of pioneers often evoke images of romance and hardship. Settlers came to the prairies from all over the world seeking democracy and equality. But what they endured — arduous voyages, back-breaking labour, homes built from sod, and the misery of pests, cyclones, and fires — made them a special kind of people.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Live at The Cellar: Vancouver’s Iconic Jazz Club and the Canadian Co-operative Jazz Scene in the 1950s and ’60s

by Marian Jago

Marian Jago combines archival research, interviews, and photos to tell the story of early jazz in Canada: the fascinating musical lives, the social interactions, and the new and infectious energy that paved the way for today’s vibrant Canadian jazz scene.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

The Death and Life of Strother Purcell

a novel by Ian Weir

In 1876, fabled lawman Strother Purcell disappears into a winter storm in the mountains of British Columbia, while hunting down his outlawed half-brother. Years later he resurfaces — mangled and in jail. Failed journalist Barrington Weaverplan decides to write Purcell’s true life story.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Bower: A Legendary Life

by Dan Robson

Johnny Bower came to be known as one of the greatest Toronto Maple Leafs of all time, but he started from humble beginnings. Dan Robson shares the never-before-told stories of Johnny’s life and career, drawing on interviews with those who knew and loved him best.

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More Abandoned Manitoba: Rivers, Rails, and Ruins

by Gordon Goldsborough

Armed with a drone and a deep curiosity about local history, Gordon Goldsborough follows up the runaway success of 2016’s Abandoned Manitoba with even more compelling abandoned sites from across the province. Exploring everything from abandoned quarries, to dance halls, to hospitals, Gordon Goldsborough connects our present with the architecture of our past.

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Viola Desmond: Her Life and Times

by Graham Reynolds with Wanda Robson

Considered by many to be Canada’s Rosa Parks, Viola Desmond was a pioneer African Canadian businesswoman and became the pre-eminent Black beauty culturist in Canada. She established the first Black beauty studio in Halifax, the Desmond School of Beauty Culture and created her own line of beauty products. Accessible, concise and timely, this book tells the incredible, important story of Viola Desmond.

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Canada’s Great War Album: Our Memories of the First World War

edited by Mark Collin Reid

Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Canada’s Great War Album is an unprecedented and remarkable collection of Canadian photographs, memorabilia, and stories of the war. Includes contributions from Peter Mansbridge, Charlotte Gray, J.L. Granatstein, Christopher Moore, Jonathan Vance, and Tim Cook.

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Sam Steele: A Biography

by Rod Macleod

Sam Steele was “the man who tamed the Gold Rush.” Macleod follows Steele’s rise from farm boy in backwoods Ontario to the much-lauded Major General Sir Samuel Benfield Steele, vividly recounting some of the most significant events of the first fifty years of Canadian Confederation.

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Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community, 1901–1961

by Evelyn Peters

Rooster Town documents the story of a community rooted in kinship, culture, and historical circumstance, whose residents existed unofficially in the cracks of municipal bureaucracy, while navigating the legacy of settler colonialism and the demands of modernity and urbanization.

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Maybe: A Life of Choice and Chance

Historical Fiction, WWII to 1952. Europe, Canada, U.S., Argentina

by R.J. Barnett

Nazi Germany's youngest full general, Reinhart Adler, in the tensest moments of WWII and on the eve of his wedding, suffers a horrific setback and becomes a pawn in the always-shifting global chaos. A story of intrigue, romance, espionage, and abject terror. Experience Adler's journey through WWII politics as he plots his revenge on those who took away all that was dear to him.

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A Township at War

by Jonathan F. Vance

This book recreates one corner of rural Canada, the southern Ontario township of East Flamborough, during the First World War. Drawing from rich narrative sources, this work uses the local to understand the national, revealing what rural people were like a century ago — how they saw the world, what they valued, and how they lived their lives.

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The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster

by Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell reveals for the first time the full story of the 2013 oil train disaster that devastated the community of Lac-Mégantic. Documenting the development of fracking and the transport of oil over the past 30 years, this book uncovers the role of deregulation, profit-hungry railway executives, and key events in this unparalleled tragedy in Canadian history.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Montreal’s Geodesic Dreams / Montréal et le rêve géodésique

Jeffrey Lindsay and The Fuller Research Foundation Canadian Division / Jeffrey Lindsay et la Fuller Research Foundation Canadian Division

edited by Cammie McAtee

Montreal was at the forefront of geodesic dome experimentation in the 1950s: R. Buckminster Fuller’s U.S. Pavilion at Expo 67 was preceded by extensive work by designer Jeffrey Lindsay (1924–84) and the Fuller Research Foundation Canadian Division (1949–56). This heavily illustrated book traces the history of Lindsay and the Foundation, and the development and construction of the Pavilion and other key geodesic projects in the region. Bilingual text in English and French.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

White Maple Leaf Socks

made exclusively for Canada’s History

Maple leaf socks: Cream-coloured background with burgundy leafs and trim. 85%25 Egyptian combed cotton, 12%25 nylon, 3%25 Spandex. Sizes: CAN/US Men’s 7-12 / Women’s 8-13; EUR 39-46.

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Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New Eldorado

by Daniel Marshall

An explosive new account of the 1858 Fraser River gold rush and the American miners who, in the “Canyon War,” tried to wipe out the Indigenous population and annex the country to the U.S. — saved by the negotiating tactics of Chief Spintlum (Cexpe’nthlEm) at Lytton.

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Dying For a Drink: How a Prohibition Preacher Got Away With Murder

by Patrick Brode

Known as “The Fighting Parson,” the Reverend J.O.L. Spracklin broke into a notorious Windsor roadhouse one chilly night in 1920 and shot and killed barkeep Beverly “Babe” Trumble, solidifying Detroit-Windsor’s reputation as the new Wild West. A provincial liquor inspector already known for his brash tactics, Spracklin never served a day of time. Rollicking and incisive, Dying For a Drink brings a forgotten piece of Prohibition lore back to life.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Through the Mill: Girls and Women in the Quebec Cotton Textile Industry, 1881–1951

by Gail Cuthbert Brandt

Girls and women were essential to industrialization in Canada, particularly in the textile industry, concentrated in Quebec. Through the Mill is an invaluable contribution to feminist labour history and one of the few studies to analyze the lives of women industrial workers here. Eighty-four women textile workers interviewed in the early ’80s tell the story in their own words.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Recipes for Victory: Great War Food from the Front and Kitchens Back Home in Canada

edited by Elizabeth Baird and Bridget Wranich

Recipes for Victory combines history and cooking as it presents domestic and military recipes (and their modern-day equivalents) used during the Great War — in the trenches, behind the lines, and on the home front.

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Finding Mr. Wong

by Susan Crean

Susan Crean’s memoir Finding Mr. Wong chronicles her effort to piece together the life of the man she knew as Mr. Wong, cook and housekeeper to her Irish Canadian family for two generations. A Chinese Head Tax payer hired by Crean’s grandfather in 1928, Wong Dong Wong remained on the job following Gordon Crean’s death in 1947. Finding Mr. Wong is an important contribution to a growing body of writings that illuminate the lives of people silenced or otherwise negated by myopic history.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

A Soldier’s Place: The War Stories of Will R. Bird

edited by Thomas Hodd

Nova Scotia-born Will R. Bird miraculously survived the First World War and returned to Nova Scotia. A Soldier’s Place is an anthology of fifteen of Bird’s best combat stories, based on the experiences of himself and of others, covering all aspects of the war effort, and following brave Canadian, American, and Australian soldiers.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Canadiana Notecard Set

made exclusively for Canada’s History

Set of eight Canadiana-themed notecards with envelopes — four different designs feature canoes, paddles, snowshoes, or a hat-wearing Canadian beaver.

Buy this gift from Canada's History

Beardmore: The Viking Hoax That Rewrote History

by Douglas Hunter

How the sensational discovery of a Viking grave in northern Ontario became a major museum controversy when it was exposed as a hoax. Shedding light on museum practices and the state of the historical and archaeological professions in the mid-twentieth century, Beardmore offers an unparalleled view inside a major museum scandal to show how power can be exercised across professional networks and hamper efforts to arrive at the truth.

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Talking Back to the Indian Act: Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories

by Mary-Ellen Kelm and Keith D. Smith

Talking Back to the Indian Act is a comprehensive “how-to” guide for engaging with primary source documents. Through an analysis of thirty-five sources pertaining to the Indian Act, the authors provide readers with a better understanding of this pivotal piece of legislation as well as insight into the dynamics involved in its creation and maintenance.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

From Rinks to Regiments: Hockey Hall-of-Famers and the Great War

by Alan Livingstone MacLeod

From Rinks to Regiments tells the stories, on both the ice and the front lines, of thirty-two largely forgotten men of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Their fascinating tales illuminate a bygone era of hockey and war that will intrigue sports fans and history buffs alike.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Iron Road West: An Illustrated History of British Columbia’s Railways

by Derek Hayes

Hayes charts the development of the province through its railway lines, using a wealth of photographs and other visuals to show how rails were laid through the wild terrain that characterized much of British Columbia. The result will fascinate railway enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of western Canada.

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Reconsidering Confederation: Canada’s Founding Debates, 1864–1999

edited by Daniel Hedit

Reconsidering Confederation brings together Canada’s leading constitutional historians to explore how provinces, territories, and Treaty areas became the political frameworks we know today.

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Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist

by Paul Hanley, foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, introduction by Jane Goodall

“St. Barbe Baker was among the first foresters to identify and celebrate the hidden life of trees.… We need more foresters who, like Baker, nurture a deep sensitivity and love for trees. This biography will inspire a new generation of tree lovers and forest protectors.” — Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

100 Photos That Changed Canada

edited by Mark Collin Reid

From the Last Spike to Pierre Trudeau, from Vimy Ridge to Terry Fox, from Bob and Doug McKenzie to Ben Johnson, from Sir John A. Macdonald to Kim Campbell — these subjects come to life in 100 images that touch us, unsettle us, or make us proud to be Canadian. Contributors include Christie Blatchford, Will Ferguson, J.L. Granatstein, Peter Mansbridge, Don Newman, Jacques Poitras and Winona Wheeler.

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In Their Own Words: Three Maritimers Experience the Great War

edited by Ross Hebb

What was the First World War really like for Maritimers overseas? This epistolary book, edited by historian Ross Hebb, contains the letters home of three Maritimers with distinct wartime experiences.

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Wages for Housework: A History of an International Feminist Movement, 1972–77

by Louise Toupin

Wages for Housework is a major contribution to the history of feminist and anti-capitalist movements and a provocative intervention into contemporary conversations about the changing nature of work and the gendered labour market.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Halifax Harbour 1918 | Le port d’Halifax 1918

edited by Anabelle Kienle Poňka

Featuring more than 50 images, as well as bilingual essays by National Gallery curator Anabelle Kienle Poňka, Gilman scholar Lily Foster, and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia curator Sarah Fillmore, Halifax Harbour 1918 depicts the city’s waterfront through the eyes of artists Arthur Lismer and Harold Gilman, following the Halifax explosion.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany

by Ted Barris

Based on personal accounts, flight logs, maps and photographs of the Canadians involved, Dam Busters recounts the dramatic story of the young bomber crews that were tasked with a high-risk mission against an enemy prepared to defend the Fatherland to the death.

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From Suffragette to Homesteader: Exploring British and Canadian Colonial Histories and Women’s Politics through Memoir

edited by Emily van der Meulen

Central to this book is a memoir written in 1952 by Ethel Marie Sentance. Beginning in 1883, it details Ethel’s life as a suffragette in her early twenties and then her later life as a homesteader in Saskatchewan. Surrounding Ethel’s memoir are chapters by leading historians and life-writing scholars that provide further analysis and context, exploring topics within and beyond those written about by Ethel.

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Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters

edited by Laura K. Davis & Linda M. Morra

“This often intense and affectionate correspondence between one of the country’s great writers and its most aggressive and nationalistic (not to mention deftly cordial) publisher makes for interesting reading and provides an important roadmap through the complex terrain of Canadian writing and culture in the latter half of the twentieth century.” — Michael Peterman

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Canada’s History Slipcase

from Canada’s History

Each case holds twelve issues of Canada’s History magazine — two years of magazines — and ensures that your collection stays in perfect condition for future reference.

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Czech Refugees in Cold War Canada: 1945-1989

by Jan Raska

Jan Raska reveals how Czech refugees secured admission as desirable immigrants and navigated existing social, cultural, and political norms in Cold War Canada through an adherence to anti-communism, the promotion of Canadian citizenship, and the cultivation of a Czechoslovak ethnocultural heritage.

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Safe Haven: The Wartime Letters of Ben Barman and Margaret Penrose, 1940-1943

edited by Roderick J. Barman

Safe Haven reveals the intimate day-to-day life of one Canadian household during the Second World War and the realities of evacuated British children, their families, and the people who hosted them.

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A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917

by L.M. Montgomery, edited by Benjamin Lefebvre

A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 is the first in a series of volumes collecting L.M. Montgomery’s extensive contributions to periodicals. Drawing fascinating links to Montgomery’s life writing, career, and fiction, this volume will offer scholars and readers alike an intriguing new look at the work of Canada’s most enduringly popular author.

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City in Colour: Rediscovered Stories of Victoria’s Multicultural Past

by May Q. Wong

Often described as “more English than the English,” the city of Victoria has a much more ethnically diverse background than historical record and current literature reveal. With information about various cultural communities in early Victoria and significant dates, May Wong’s City in Colour is a collection of fascinating stories of unsung characters whose stories are at the heart of Victoria’s history.

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Don’t Never Tell Nobody Nothin’ No How: The Real Story of West Coast Rum Running

by Rick James

Using first-hand accounts of old-time rum-runners, the often-sensational newspaper coverage of the day, and many archival photographs, this thoroughly researched and lively history sets out to explain what really went down along the West Coast during the American “Noble Experiment.”

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“Living Lightly on the Earth”: Building an Ark for Prince Edward Island, 1974–76

by Steven Mannell

Built in 1976 by Solsearch Architects and the New Alchemy Institute, the Ark bioshelter integrated ecological design features to provide a self-reliant life for a family and a model of sustainable living for the world. Illustrated with dozens of original drawings and period photographs, the book traces the history, context, research, and construction of this still-relevant experiment.

Buy this book from Dalhousie Architectural Press

100 Days That Changed Canada

edited by Mark Collin Reid

Featuring stunning colour and black-and-white photographs, 100 Days That Changed Canada is an elegant keepsake and an essential addition to every library. Contributors include Michael Bliss, Stevie Cameron, Adrienne Clarkson, Tim Cook, Charlotte Gray, Ken McGoogan, Dick Pound, Bob Rae, Peter Mansbridge, Rona Maynard, Peter C. Newman, Margaret Wente and Brian Williams.

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Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done

by David Doyle

In this imaginative re-enactment of his trial, Riel is finally given the opportunity to respond to his conviction for treason, offering his side of the story of Batoche and Red River, and in particular the details of how his show trial was manipulated — all of this showing why he deserves a pardon.

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The Blind Mechanic: The Amazing Story of Eric Davidson, Survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion

by Marilyn Davidson Elliott

Eric Davidson lost both eyes in the Halifax Explosion when he was two years old. Against all odds, he taught himself to become an auto mechanic and had a successful decades-long career as “one of the boys.”

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Orange Chinook: Politics in the New Alberta

edited by Duane Bratt, Keith Brownsey, Richard Sutherland, and David Taras

The first scholarly analysis of the unprecedented New Democratic Party victory in the 2015 Alberta Provincial Elections, Orange Chinook explores the election and the NDP in power, and it looks forward to what Alberta’s political future may hold.

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The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan: The First Hundred Years

by David Mittelstadt

A history of Saskatchewan’s highest court on its centennial, The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan ties together legal analysis with a compelling narrative. David Mittelstadt includes a biography of each judge who ever sat on the court and relates some of the touchstone legal decisions that influenced both the province and the nation.

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Delicious Mirth: The Life and Times of James McCarroll

by Michael A. Peterman

James McCarroll (1814-1892) was a talented Irish poet, journalist, humorist, musician, and arts critic who left his mark on nineteenth-century Canada by seemingly engaging with anything topical in every medium. Revealing a man of immense creative energy and cultural significance, Delicious Mirth shows that McCarroll’s life and works are outstanding achievements and deserve fresh attention today.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Resurgence and Reconciliation: Indigenous-Settler Relations and Earth Teachings

edited by Michael Asch, John Borrows, and James Tully

The two major schools of thought in Indigenous-Settler relations on the ground, in the courts, in public policy, and in research are resurgence and reconciliation. By using “earth-teachings” to inform social practices, the editors and contributors offer a rich, innovative, and holistic way forward in response to the world’s most profound natural and social challenges.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Red Maple Leaf Socks

made exclusively for Canada’s History

Maple leaf socks: Burgundy-coloured background with off-white leafs and trim. 85%25 Egyptian combed cotton, 12%25 nylon, 3%25 Spandex. Sizes: CAN/US Men’s 7-12 / Women’s 8-13; EUR 39-46.

Buy this gift from Canada's History

A Not-so-Savage Land: The Art and Times of Frederick Whymper, 1838–1901

by Peter Johnson

Containing dozens of rarely seen sketches, watercolours, and photographs, A Not-so-Savage Land is a fascinating look at a man whose visual documentation had a profound impact on the political and economic development of the colonial west.

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On the Line: A History of the British Columbia Labour Movement

by Rod Mickleburgh

In prose that is both accessible and engaging, and featuring over two hundred archival photos, On the Line tells the important story of how B.C.’s labour organizations have shaped the economic, political and social fabric of the province — at a cost of much blood, sweat, toil and tears.

Buy this book at Chapters-Indigo

Westray: My Journey from Darkness to Light

by Vernon Theirault as told to Marjorie Coady

Vernon Theriault was off shift when the Westray mine exploded in 1992, killing twenty-six men in Plymouth, Nova Scotia. Theriault took part in the perilous rescue operation that followed, as the small community hoped against hope that survivors would be found.

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