BookList

A 16-post collection

Persona Non Grata: The Death of Free Speech in the Internet Age

Required reading for journalists and bloggers, as it shows the peril of rushing to judgement in the era of clickbait. Tom Flanagan was one of Canada's leading political scientists, until one statement in an academic discussion was taking out of context and spread across the Internet. In response to a question at the University of Lethbridge the night prior, Flanagan stated: "I certainly have no sympathy for child molesters, but I do have some grave doubts about putting people in jail because of their taste in pictures. I don't look at these pictures." A short video was posted to YouTube, and within hours, Flanagan was a pariah - condemned as supporting child pornography. The Premier of Alberta, the...

The People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour

I love walking the Waterfront Trail from Bay Street to Princess Point, the calm rolling of the water, the beautiful waters of Cootes Paradise which are devoid - with the exception of the fish gate - of human structure. It wasn't always this way, there was once a shanty town along the shores of Cootes where the trial runs today. The story of this town, and the demolition of it, is one of many stories included in the book. Admittedly, I expected the book to be about the past 50 years of environmental history in the Harbour. It was much deeper than this. The opening chapters discuss the first fishing inspector, and the fisheries that were once a major part...

The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End

I familiar with the Western European history of the period between the First World War and the Second World War, this book focuses on how the conflicts in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in the remnants of the Ottoman Empire did not end with the Armistice. For these territories, the dismantling of empires and old orders lead to large scale bloodshed Available at the Hamilton Public Library...

Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day

The unbelievable and true story of Juan Pujol, the double-agent known as Agent Garbo who played a key role in the successful deception operation that tied up Nazi forces at Pal de Calais during the Normandy Invasion and played a key role in the Western Allies victory against Nazi Germany. I enjoyed this book greatly, it was a thrilling story of Garica, a man who seems unlikely to achieve anything, who wants to fight "for the good of humanity", tries to become a British spy and after being brushed aside by the Brits convinces the German's that he's a valuable spy, then finally becomes a British spy. The book tells this story and then follows Agent Garbo as...

The Death and Life of American Journalism

Essential reading for anyone who wants to dig beyond the usual narrative that the Internet is to blame for all that woes journalism. I purchased this 2010 book after listening to an insightful discussion on Radio Open Source. The book looks at the decline of newspapers prior to the Internet as corporations consolidated ownership and started cutting journalists. The decline of journalism was worsened by the Internet. The book calls for public subsidies for public service journalism. Now, six years later, the crisis is worse. The good news is that in American today, we're seeing the rise of local independents who will one day fill the void. The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin...