New Collection of Home Truths

Posted by Daniel on Nov 28, 2012

Here's a tough assignment for you. Take the 600 or so articles which have appeared in the journal BC Studies since it made its appearance in 1968 and winnow them down to a selection of just eleven.

That was the job taken on by the current editors of the journal, Richard Mackie and Graeme Wynn. The result has been published as a new book from Harbour Publishing, Home Truths: Highlights from BC History.

Unlike most academic journals, BC Studies has managed over the years to connect the ivory tower to the general public with articles that appeal to both the specialist and the interested amateur. As Mackie and Gwynn reveal in their introduction, this was the objective from the very beginning and I think it is fair to say that succeeding editors have held true to the plan. Certainly this new collection does, with articles culled from back issues of the journal that range widely in terms of geography, chronology and subject matter.

Appropriately, the prolific historian Jean Barman is represented with a fine piece on the way that the Aboriginal presence in Stanley Park and Kitsilano was "erased" from the urban landscape and then the urban memory. Similarly, J. Michael Thoms describes how wealthy fly fishers, led by the Hawaiian pineapple king James Dole, forced out Aboriginal fishers at Pennask Lake. There are also articles on Victoria's Chinatown, British settlers at Walhachin, Finns at Sointula, and much more besides.

A good choice for the BC buff on your Christmas list.