Category Archives: Social History and Education

Deciphering Freedom: Sarah Bakewell’s At The Existentialist Café

Bakewell, Sarah. At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails. Knopf Canada,  2016. How I wish Sarah Bakewell had been my Philosophy professor when I began my undergraduate career. How I wish she’d been around to talk to when … Continue reading

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The Promethean Legacy: Harari’s Sapiens

Harari. Yuval Noah. Sapiens. A Brief History of Human Kind. [Kinneret 2011] Trans. Yuval Noah Harari. Toronto: Signal-McClelland & Stewart, 2014. Whether you are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the planet and of the survival of humankind upon it, … Continue reading

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An Unfinished Journey: Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad

Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad. Toronto: Doubleday, 2016. This is an extremely disturbing novel for several reasons. First is its subject matter and second is what Whitehead does with his story. The Underground Railroad is more than merely the tale of one … Continue reading

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Navigating the Past: Cathy Converse’s Following the Curve of Time

Converse, Cathy. Following the Curve of Time: The Legendary M. Wylie Blanchet. Victoria: Touch Wood Editions, 2008. I was perhaps at something of a disadvantage when I began to read this book; I have not read M. Wylie Blanchet’s The … Continue reading

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Far Beyond Daffodils: James Rebanks’ The Shepherd’s Life

Rebanks, James. The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District. London: Allen Lane- Penguin, 2015. What is your image of the shepherd? Of the Lake District? I suspect that many of our responses to the Lake District have been primed … Continue reading

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Beyond Silence: Sinclair McKay’s The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park

McKay, Sinclair. The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park [The Secret Life of Bletchley Park. London: Aurum 2010] New York: Penguin-Plume, 2012. Now, if one says the word “Bletchley,” most … Continue reading

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Making it Up. Iona Opie’s The People in the Playground

Opie, Iona. The People in the Playground. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993. “I wanted,” says Iona Opie in her Preface to The People in the Playground, “above all, to call up the sensation of being surrounded by the kaleidoscopic vitality of … Continue reading

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