BookList

A 16-post collection

I'm Right and You're An Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It up

A great read on how all of us can improve our public discourse. Author James Hoggan speaks with notable researchers, academics, and public leaders on how our toxic state of public discourse came to be, and gets their recommendations for how to change this - as the title says "how to clean it up". Hoggan brings his own experience of the public discord surrounding climate change as the thread to weave together the chapters. There are many good points in the book about how to structure conversation, writing, and dialogue to decrease political polarization. Many of them I'll be taking to heart myself. Borrow this book from the Hamilton Public Library...

A World We Have Lost Saskatchewan Before 1905

Reading... Bill Waiser's 717 page book is outside my usual reading, a look at the history of what is today's Saskatchewan before the province was founded. Hopefully, I'll be able to find the time to complete it. Borrow it from the Hamilton Public Library....

Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory

Reading... Looking forward to completing Major General Julian Thompson's book on how the BEF's spectacular and unexpected success in escaping Dunkirk in 1940 was essential to the Allied victory in 1945 - despite leaving all their equipment and supplies behind. Borrow from the Hamilton Public Library....

Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation

Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan shares his behind-the-scenes view of the journalistic investigation which finally brought down CBC's golden boy Jian Ghomeshi. I know two people who Ghomeshi assaulted, both of them telling me of his behaviour in 2008 and 2009. The book gives more perspective on the behinds the scenes investigative process, the challenge of meeting the legal standard of responsible journalism, and how the investigation was stalled in mid-2014 until Ghomeshi tipped the scales by showing CBC executives photos of injuries a woman suffered in rough sex with Ghomeshi. Donovan's narrative flows well, and gives great insight into the challenges of investigating a wealthy individual with the prestige Ghomeshi enjoyed. I recommend the book for anyone wishing to...

Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt

Sarah Jaffe of The Nation looks at the grassroot movements rocking the American political discourse on both the left and right during the past decade. With on the ground accounts of these movements, from Occupy Wall Street, the Tea Party, to BlackLivesMatter, Jaffe takes us closer to the movements that helped rise Bernie Sanders against the Democratic Party machine to the rebellion against the Republican establishment that carried Donald Trump to the White House. I won't call it essential reading, it is a good overview of some of the movements responding to corruption in Washington and on Wall Street. The book can be borrowed from the Hamilton Public Library....

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill's Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops

I only read the first two chapters before having to move onto projects, and returning the book to the Hamilton Public Library. I greatly enjoyed the details and insight of the stories shared in the chapters, a fascinating look at the early Black Ops operations of the Second World War and how the SOE worked closely with local resistance movements to undermine the Nazis. This book is on my to-read list when I get an opportunity to go back to it. You can borrow it from the Hamilton Public Library....

No News Is Bad News Canada's Media Collapse -- and What Comes Next

I read this book many months ago, and wasn't planning to write a review. As I follow the state of the news industry closely, there wasn't much that surprised me in the book. It was a good read, a good lament for the state of Canadian media which properly puts much of the fail at the feet of Canada's media. You can borrow this book from the Hamilton Public Library....

How English Became English: A Short History of A Global Language

A venture outside of my normal reading topics, this book on the history of the English language was well worth my time. The most fascinating chapters of the book discussed local variations of the English language and the future of our tongue in the Internet age with new words being invented at an increasing rate. Discussions of how the meanings of words have changed over time, such as the modern use of "literally" to mean the opposite of the dictionary definition. The book does not take a purist view of the language, and does a great job of exploring the various attempts to regulate the English language. Just last week, my friend (who holds a B.Ed) was...

One Day in August The Untold Story Behind Canada's Tragedy in Dieppe

The Dieppe Raid was the bloodiest day of the Second World War for Canada, and the bloodiest day for Hamilton as 197 men of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry died in the August 19, 1942 raid. For 70 years, the debate raged regarding the merits and purpose of the raid. Was it to appease public opinion for some action, a response to Soviet demands for a second front, a much needed testing ground for the Normandy invasion, or just a fools errand by Lord Mountbatten? A key piece of information was missing, parts of which remain classified even today - a raiding team commanded by Ian Fleming. The goal of this crack team of commandos from Bletchley Park (the closely...