Wednesday, December 14, 2022

CanHist podcasts

I continue to be impressed by the industry of Patrice Dutil and Greg Marchildon, the podcasters of the Champlain Society, whose "Witness to Yesterday" program pours out a remarkable number of long and well prepared conversations with the authors of recent works of Canadian history.  

From that flood, I recently heard Marchildon talking to geologist-author Nicholas Eyles about his biography of the remarkable geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson, the man who made the earth's crustal plates move. I actually met Professor Wilson once -- some academic function at U of T's Mississauga campus, where he held some title -- and now it feels like l encountered Darwin.  

Speaking of podcasts, props also to Chris Dummitt, who recently completed Season Two of his "1867 and All That ..." up to, well, up to 1867, (and a nice little reference to me took me by surprise in the last episode.).  As he says, there is more of all that:  Season Three will continue up to 1885.

I've been pondering end-of-year best books thoughts, and it occurs to me that Witness to Yesterday might be the best place to find a long list.  But I'd gladly accept nominations of any recent CanHist title that has impressed you.  (See email link at right) 

Update, same dayDaniel Francis has some ideas:

I want to mention a pair of BC books that should be on anyone’s best of CanHist 2022 list. First is Robin Fisher’s biography, Wilson Duff: Coming Back, a Life, from Harbour Publishing. Among other things Duff, who died in 1976, was curator of anthropology at the provincial museum in the 1950s and 1960s where he played a key role in encouraging the resurgence of totem pole carving and the reclamation of poles from Haida Gwaii. Lots of other interesting stuff as well, and Fisher tells the story well. 
Second is Jean Barman’s new history of BC’s colonial origins, British Columbia in the Balance: 1846-1871, also from Harbour. Like every Barman project, this one is filled with reassessments and revisions of what we thought was a familiar subject.

Is it my imagination or is all the best history being published by smaller regional publishers, not the Toronto-based behemoths?

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