Book Notes: Mossman on Women Lawyers
Christopher Moore's History News
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3d ago
I have at least dabbled in Canadian legal history, and I have from time to time been drawn into to what might be called the genealogy of law firms. Where law firms large and small come from, how they perpetuate themselves, what they inherit from their earlier incarnations, and how small ones grow big or vice versa: it's like a little secret field no one has ever heard of. So I'm a sucker for Mary Jane Mossman's Quiet Rebels: A History of Ontario Women Lawyers -- even though what I'm describing above is not at all her focus. This is a group biography of almost two hundred women who became lawy ..read more
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Book Notes: White on the Beaches
Christopher Moore's History News
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3d ago
Okay, Richard White is a good friend of ours, but I'm really liking his new book The Beaches: Creation of a Toronto Neighbourhood.  Richard lives in and appreciates the Beaches neighbourhood of east Toronto, but he is also a historian of urban planning (Planning Toronto, etc.). The planner in him wasn't interested in merely celebrating the place, so there's some urban history data and analysis here, and you might learn a little about Sam Bass Warner's theory of street car suburbs and such. Nor is he inclined to preservationist "preserve this urban form at all costs" arguments that m ..read more
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Jacques Monet (1930-2024) RIP, historian of 19th Century Canada
Christopher Moore's History News
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3d ago
  Jacques Monet, historian and Jesuit priest, died recently at the age of ninety-four. He was a longtime history professor at several Canadian universities and the author of The Last Cannon Shot and other works in mid-19th century Canadian history. Monet was an admirer of the pre-Confederation politics of French-English co-operation -- to the point that in the tempestuous 1970s he was known to some of his more nationalist compatriots as "Union Jacques." He was head of the University of Ottawa history department when I was a graduate student there and always charming and gregarious. I ..read more
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Giro d'Italia update
Christopher Moore's History News
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3d ago
On Sunday, the Giro d'Italia ran its "queen stage," (that is, its longest steepest most unendurable day of racing.  And Tadej Pogacar cruised through it, going away alone to the snowy top of the final peak looking like he was on a Sunday pleasure ride. He now has the greatest lead going into the Giro's final week that any rider has had in decades: almost seven minutes over second place Geraint Thomas.  The commentators spent most of the final minutes of the day discussing whether Pogacar is poised to become the greatest Grand Tour rider ever ... or whether he already is.   ..read more
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History of the Senate from Emmett Macfarlane
Christopher Moore's History News
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1w ago
On his Substack, political scientist Emmett Macfarlane offers much good sense on the Senate (as he has done before) and confrontation  being set up between a Poilievre government and a Senate full of independent senators -- who owe their seats to Justin Trudeau's new appointment process.  Macfarlane's book Constitutional Pariah is the best book available on the Senate: my notes on it are here. Andrew Coyne, meanwhile, suggests the Charter of Rights and the notwithstanding clause may be the prime minister's last best shot as an election issue ..read more
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History of election interference: it's an inside job
Christopher Moore's History News
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1w ago
I've been trying to follow the inquiries that have been in the headlines in the past year or so, about alleged interference by foreign powers in Canadian elections: the Johnson, the Hogue, etc. It's all been a bit murky, and the point is not often easy to see. The media and Question Period are full of lurid suggestions about Chinese and other foreign agents performing not-very-well specified nefarious acts to meddle in Canadian election results. The government should have done something! Maybe it is a bad thing -- spies gonna spy, and someone's gotta counterspy. But most of the al ..read more
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The austere passion of the historian
Christopher Moore's History News
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1w ago
Still catching up on my reading, I was delighted to find in the May 2024 Literary Review of Canada a thoughtful letter by Robert Girvan of Toronto about my Cundill books review from the Jan/Feb 2024 issue.  Reader engagement -- always appreciated! And this is not the thumbs-up/thumbs-down sort of response. Robert Girvan engages at length with my observations (find his letter at the foot of the article) about what one might call the personal turn in academic writing -- substantial scholarly books in which the personal interests and commitments of the author become an integral part o ..read more
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Prize Watch: Shaughnessy Cohen Prize to John Vaillant for Fire Weather
Christopher Moore's History News
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2w ago
No disrespect to the other nominees, but I was pleased to see John Vaillant's Fire Weather being awarded the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing at the Writers' Trust annual Politics and the Pen dinner in Ottawa.   Fire Weather was shortlisted for the American Pulitzer Prize (and for the Hilary Weston Nonfiction Prize in Canada) and has won a bunch of other awards here and internationally.  Update, May 9:  Helen Webberley asks:  Elizabeth Shaughnessy Cohen must have been an impressive lawyer and politician since her prize for political writing is given ..read more
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A new museum for the Quebecois?
Christopher Moore's History News
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2w ago
Eri Eric Bédard La Presse has recently been covering the plan of the Quebec government of Francois Legault to create a new national museum for Quebec, one said to be "not dedicated to the history of Quebec but rather to that of the Quebec nation" ("le futur musée ne sera pas consacré à l’histoire du Québec, mais plutôt à celui de la nation québécoise").   It is already getting pushback, notably in an opinion piece in La Presse from 36 historians and cultural figures led by historians Catherine LaRochelle and Camille Robert:  "Will the contents reflect the state of histo ..read more
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Prize Watch: Kobzar Prize for Myrna Kostash
Christopher Moore's History News
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2w ago
Happy to read that my friend Myrna Kostash has won the 2024 Kobzar Book Award, given biennially by the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation "for outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who write on a topic with a tangible connection to Ukrainian Canadians" for her family history Ghosts in the Photograph. The Kobzar ($25,000) does not sort among genres. Nice to see a history and a nonfiction win this year. Myrna's book started from a box full of family photographs and grew into a deep dive into her forebears both in Alberta and in Ukraine. Having always assumed that ..read more
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