Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ideas for the Hard to buy for Historian #16

Daniel Francis over at HistoryWire notes a dearth of West Coast non-fiction on the Globe & Mail's 100 Best Books of the Year, and offers five BC non-fictions worth reading or giving. Hume on Simon Fraser has been the one on my list of interests; I know less of the others (which is Dan's point, I think).

Mary Soderstrom, Montreal novelist, social critic and blogger has most recently published The Walkable City: From Haussmann's Boulevards to Jane Jacobs' Streets and Beyond with Vehicule Press. She suggests the historian on your list should know of:
The Kill (La Curée) by Emile Zola. When I read it last year while researching The Walkable City, I was blown away by the way this novel (published in 1871) says so much about the financial forces still at play today. The Kill is the second of Zola's novels about the Rougon-Macquart family, and takes place in the Paris of the 1860s and 1870s which was being completely transformed by Napoléon III and Georges-Étienne Haussmann. The real estate speculation then led directly to the Great Crash of 1873, which many are comparing to what we're currently going through.
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