Monday, October 29, 2012

History at Douglas & MacIntyre

Douglas & MacIntyre, the Vancouver publisher and one of the few substantial Canadian-owned trade-book publishers still standing, put itself into bankruptcy protection last week.

This all may simply be prelude to the takeover of another Canadian publisher by one of the multi-nationals. What have we got to lose?  Just note a few historical titles D&M has put out in the last few years.

  • Four Wars of 1812 by D. Peter MacLeod (companion to the War Museum exhibit); and also MacLeod's 1759 book Northern Armageddon
  • British Columbia, a history in maps by Derek Hayes, and also Hayes' Historical Atlas of Toronto
  • The Last Viking, Stephen Bown's biography of Roald Amundsen
  • King, the biography by Allan Levine
  • Breakout from Juno, by Mark Zuehlke and all Zuehlke's other military histories
  • Defiant Spirits, GG winner (and nominee again) Ross King's study of the Group of Seven and his earlier art histories.
  • Polar Imperative by Shelagh Grant, the authoritative history of northern sovereignty
  • Whoever Gives us Bread by Lynn Bowen, British Columbia's leading trade historian
  • The Horse that Leaps the Clouds, a remarkable history of the Great Game in early 20th century central Asia by Eric Enno Tamm
  • Cold War by Roy MacSkimming -- actually about the 1972 hockey series, not that other cold war
And just recently Candace Savage's meditation on Prairie history, Geography of Blood, currently shortlisted for the $60,000 Weston Nonfiction Prize.  

Not an exhaustive list by any means.  More details here. (Disclosure: they publish one of mine too.  And one by my father, as it happens.)

Addenda:  And today Bertlesmann (i.e., Random House, Knopf, Doubleday, etc.) and Pearson (Penguin,etc.) announced they are merging their interests, just in case we didn't have enough oligopoly in the trade.  Random Penguin correction, October 31: The parent companies are only merging the trade divisions, that is, Random House and Penguin Books, into a jointly-owned unit. Their many other operations remain separate.

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