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Tecumseh & Brock: The antidote to Harper's War of 1812 propaganda

Tecumseh & Brock: The War of 1812

by James Laxer
(House of Anansi,
2012;
$29.95)

Stephen Harper’s interest in communicating his version of Canada’s past has been on full display this year, with his government spending lavishly on celebrations of the War of 1812.

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The ugly truth about Stephen Harper's foreign policy

The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper's Foreign Policy

by Yves Engler
(Fernwood Publishing co-published with Red Publishing,
2012;
$19.95)

For a long time now, there has been a serious weakness on the part of progressive movements in the most over-developed countries of the world. The ability to recognize that so much of the privileges we enjoy, but that governments and corporations enjoy even more so, comes from years of exploitation, subjugation and extreme levels of violence towards countries of the Global South, but too often, our history and continued practice of imperialism is either forgotten or ignored.  In The Ugly Canadian, Yves Engler sets out to provide "a small spark in lighting a fire of interest in Canadian foreign policy."

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Justin Podur on Haiti's new dictatorship

Haiti's New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation

by Justin Podur
(Between The Lines,
2012;
$29.95)

In this interview with Matt Adams, Justin Podur, author of Haiti’s New Dictatorship, discusses his new book. The book, which takes a look at the country's history of the past seven years, from the 2004 coup against Aristide to the devastating 2010 earthquake, reveals a shocking story of abuse and neglect by international forces.

Podur unearths the reality of a supposedly benign international occupation, arguing that the denial of sovereignty is the fundamental cause of Haiti’s problems.

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What happened to social democracy?

Social Democracy After the Cold War

Social Democracy After the Cold War

by Bryan Evans and Ingo Schmidt, eds.
(Athabasca University Press,
2012;
$29.95)

Anyone who has followed the current economic and financial crisis in Europe knows that social democratic governments and parties have consistently lined up on the side of the banks and the rich in the ongoing political conflict. The policies they have implemented while in government have been nearly identical to those advanced by the traditional right-wing parties and governments. In several counties, the social democrats have formed political alliances to govern with the right wing parties. What is going on here?

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Occupy anniversary: The movement still has momentum

This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement.

by Sarah van Gelder and the staff of Yes! Magazine, eds.
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers,
2011;
$9.95)

Published in 2011, shortly after the Occupy movement began, This Changes Everything was published offering insights for the many already involved -- actively protesting or expressing support in other ways -- and for the millions more who sympathize with the goal of a more equitable and democratic future. This Introduction is excerpted from the book.

Something happened in September 2011 so unexpected that no politician or pundit saw it coming.

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Michael Kluckner's new book examines a vanishing Vancouver

Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years

by Michael Kluckner
(Whitecap Books,
2012;
$35.00)

I’m amazed by how much change I’ve witnessed in the short time I’ve lived in this city. The Vancouver I know is one of unceding growth, all glass towers and a headlong rush toward the new, new, new. The art deco buildings I remember seeing on visits to the city just 10 years ago are already gone, replaced by mixed-use condos and a Vancouverism that aggressively pushes upwards.

In Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, author Michael Kluckner pushes back, back in time and back against the disappearing city he clearly fell in love with. It’s a follow-up to his award-winning 1990 book by the same name that examined the changing city in the wake of Expo ’86.

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Richard Stursberg: Inside the CBC

The Tower of Babble: Sins, Secrets and Successes Inside the CBC

by Richard Stursberg
(Douglas & McIntyre,
2012;
$32.95)

When Richard Stursberg took over as head of English services at the CBC in July 2004, he was determined to set a new course for the Mother Corp’s television operations. As far as he was concerned, CBC TV was plagued by elitism, mediocrity and, worst of all, indifference to its audience. Stursberg launched a new strategy to attract viewers by providing programming that was above all else entertaining. “There would be only one measure for success: audiences,” he writes in his new memoir, The Tower of Babble: Sins, Secrets and Successes Inside the CBC. “Everything would be pinned on rebuilding the audiences.”

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Beautiful Trouble: Creative tools for social change

Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution

Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution

by Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell, eds.
(OR Books,
2012;
$28.00)

Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution is an endlessly fascinating and unique guide to actually fighting to win. While you might ask why else would you fight if not to win then you haven't observed much of the political and social action over the past few decades.

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New book backs justice for Omar Khadr

Omar Khadr, Oh Canada

Omar Khadr, Oh Canada

by Janice Williamson, ed.
(McGill-Queen's University Press,
2012;
$24.95)

If timing is everything, can it also be ironic?

Just as author and academic Janice Williamson launches an anthology of essays detailing Canada’s failure to uphold the rights of one of its citizens, another “Oh Canada” is quickly garnering much attention.

Canadian media have already publicized the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s new exhibition which aims to portray Canada’s artistic landscape, as seen through the eyes of its contemporary artists, authors, and cultural purveyors.

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Nora Young and The Virtual Self

The Virtual Self

The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us

by Nora Young
(McClelland & Stewart,
2012;
$29.99)

Are you alive or simply a stream of data? According to Nora Young, author and host of CBC Radio's trends and tech show Spark, we could already be well on our way to becoming a strange hybrid of both.

Young is one of Canada's new technology philosophers; a woman who likes wearing two very different hats. The first hat is that of the exuberant geek who clearly loves gamboling through the rapidly changing new media landscape. The second hat is worn by a concerned Cassandra, the Greek goddess famous for her gift of prophecy, but cursed because nobody listens to her.

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