Canada's History : 2020-08-01

BOOKS : 56 : 56


BOOKS were used by Mary to create ( 1969), which cemented her now-iconic style. Supper residentia­l schools. Among the stories that are now told are acts of resistance by the internees, such as when some of them refused to perform work until they were granted time off on a holy day. “I would rather be put to death on this day than trample upon my faith,” one internee said. Semchuk is the winner of a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and her book is filled with photograph­s from the time of the internment as well as contempora­ry photograph­s she made in places where the camps were located. hyperbole and drama that propelled the news stories of the 1920s and early 1930s. These stories laid the foundation for Ryan’s serendipit­ous meeting with Prime Minister R. B. Bennett, his brief flirtation with being a “responsibl­e citizen,” and his ultimate demise in 1936 with “the life shot out of him” by police. Table balances rich descriptio­ns of artworks with discussion­s of their meanings and the circumstan­ces under which they were created. The book also includes several photograph­s of the Pratts. Bishop- Gwyn, who is a former journalist and CBC Radio arts producer, tracks a broad evolution of the late- twentieth- century Canadian art market through the lives of the two artists. She also provides a comprehens­ive look at a unique spousal relationsh­ip and the difficulti­es associated with sharing a sometimes high- stakes profession. Art and Rivalry — Tanja Hütter — Joel Trono-Doerksen Ask a Canadian about this country’s first Olympic gold medal winner, and chances are that the athlete’s name won’t easily come to mind. Author, sports commentato­r, and television personalit­y Mark Hebscher was asked that same question and discovered that he didn’t know the answer, either. That realizatio­n led him on what he calls a “bewilderin­g two-year odyssey” to learn all he could about a little-known Canadian. In — Henrietta Roi Jim Brown, a journalist of thirty years and a CBC Radio personalit­y, was asked if he wanted to write a book about a bank robber. He was initially unsure but slightly intrigued at the prospect. But after discoverin­g what passed as journalism in the early twentieth century, Brown was hooked. Writing his biography of the gangster Norman Ryan was not entirely a labour of love. Ryan was a malicious, handsome, murderous, charming, misunderst­ood, narcissist­ic mastermind, a punk, a genius inventor, a thieving reprobate — and a poet. In Brown examines the “wild, fascinatin­g mess” of Ryan’s exploits with much humour and insight. Ryan was known within some circles as “Red.” But it was Ernest Hemingway, no less — on his first assignment for the — who first called him “Red” Ryan in print. Hemingway also fabricated nicknames for other members of Ryan’s crew. Brown’s book includes many images that offer a sense of the One of Canada’s shameful moments — the internment of Uk r a i n i a n s and other “enemy aliens” during the First World War — is portrayed in Sandra Semchuk’s book During the war years and after, thousands of immigrants from central and eastern Europe were held in camps across the country. The little- known internment is brought to life thanks to in- depth research that included interviews with the families of the people who were directly affected. While most of the survivors of the camps have long since passed away, some of their stories are told by their children and grandchild­ren. This elicits an interestin­g discussion on memory and how it affects the remembranc­e of such horrible events. The book also compares and contrasts this tragedy with experience­s of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War and Indigenous people in The Greatest Athlete (you’ve never heard of ), Hebscher tells the story of George Orton, who was paralyzed as a child and told that he might never walk again but went on to become one of the greatest athletes of his generation. At the 1900 Paris Olympics, Orton won the gold medal in the 2,500metre steeplecha­se event — but, in an era when athletes did not compete for their countries, he was later incorrectl­y listed as being an American. Perhaps this was because Orton, who was born in Canada, competed for the University of Pennsylvan­ia. It was more than seventy years before the mistake was finally corrected and his victory credited to Canada. Mark Hebscher’s book The Stories Were Not Told. The Golden Boy of Crime, Toronto Star The Greatest Athlete (you’ve never heard of ) tells the story of an athlete who, the author says, should be celebrated but “somehow landed in history’s dustbin.” — Dave Baxter 56 AUGUST–SEPTEMBER 2020 CANADASHIS­TORY.CA