Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Big Shift by Bricker, Ibbitson

This book's full title is "The Big Shift, The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business and Culture and What it means for Our Future". This book is by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson. I seldom read books on Canadian Politics as politics in general do not interest me all that much. However, I had realized when Harper first got elected that it was because Ontario voted with the West.

For most of Canadian history I knew that for a government to get into power, it had to have votes by Ontario and Quebec. When Ontario and Quebec voted together you got a majority federal government. But things have been changing with the rise of the Bloc Quebecois and the rise of the West. The West has been wanted to get in for a long time. With Harper they did get in.

I found interesting that 20% of our populations were immigrants. This is quite high. However, what is more interesting is where these immigrants are with 3% in Nova Scotia, 11.5% in Quebec, but 28% of population of in British Columbia and Ontario. With some 70% of our population living in urban areas, it is hardly a surprise that a large portion of our immigrants also live in urban areas.

The Literary Review site of Canada has a review of this book by Yuen Pau Woo. I have read quite a bit of Canadian History and I also do not remember any elite group being called "Laurentians" either in the form of Laurentian elite or Laurentian consensus. I find this the best review. She questions some of the assumptions of the book and I think she is right to do so.

The iPolitics Site also have a very interesting and insightful review by Colin Horgan. There is also a review in the National Post by Mark Kennedy. This is more a review of what the books says rather than an assessment of what the book says.

John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker on their book at Canadian Bar Association This is a question and answer type interview. There is a short interview of Bricker on City News.

And, finally, what I found a very interesting part of the book was about the Atlantic Canadian Reality Distortion Field by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson. It talks about how Atlantic Canada thinks that the money transfer from west to east via Employment Insurance is very Canadian and logically and see nothing wrong with part time workers collecting money from the plan every year. This is a very worthwhile read.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Bricker. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Conquest of the Ocean by Brian Lavery

This book's full title is "The conquest of the Ocean: An Illustrated History of Seafaring" by Brian Lavery. Brian Lavery has his own web site.

This book has little outside of how the western world interacted with the ocean. It briefly talks about the Polynesian and the Pacific Ocean and Zheng He of Chinese fame. But I doubt of anyone in the western world has not heard of these sailors. One thing I did learn that I had not heard much about was the US military attacks by ship in the War of Independence. This was quite an interesting part of the book.

The book is easy to read and has lots of nice illustrations. You can learn things about boats and ships you may not know. It is a good book for what it covers. Brian Lavery is a naval historian.

There is a number of book reviews on this book at Good Reads. Most readers liked the book and lots commented on the lovely illustrations. There is also a review on the Literature works Literature Works site. Most of the reviews I found were quite short.

Some even mention some of the books short-comings, like on History Extra site. They mention that most of the book covers the period from 1450 to the present.

On YouTube there are short videos of Brian Lavery discussing points about his book. Go to the first one and you should be able to access the rest from that page. You can also access these videos from DK's YouTube site.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Lavery. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.