Thursday, 26 March 2015

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

The book War and Peace, when it is talked about at all these days, it seems to me anyway, is referred to because it is so long. It’s often used as a joke to denounce someone’s long-windedness: “Hey, we’re just your lawyers, so you don’t have to give us War and Peace when you summarize your marital problems for these divorce proceedings”, or, “Hey, I’m expecting a brief history of the Nigerian Civil War for this essay assignment; War and Peace has already been written.”

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Truth about Trudeau - Bob Plamondon

Want to know a secret? Former Canadian Prime Minister, the late Honorable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was far from the great statesman and effective leader Canadians have been constantly told about. His flaws were many, and the extensive damage he did to Canada’s armed services, economy and international standing is too much to measure.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - William Shirer

     I decided to read William H. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany – first published fifteen years after the World War II’s end, then republished in 1974, 1990, 1991, 1998, 2010 and 2011 – while listening to Lowell Green’s lively Ottawa weekday morning talk radio program sometime in 2013. One of Green’s callers, a regular woman participant who always has interesting information and opinions to contribute, mentioned that she had read the book and therefore knew how dangerous anti-Semitism could be. My late mother’s dog-eared copy – with the torn spine and too many loose pages – had been eerily sitting up high on my living room shelf – dusted but not read – for almost 30 years. So I finally took it down and started on a terrifying, educational journey into the evil genius and reign of one of the twentieth centuries most demonic tyrants.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Massey Murder - Charlotte Gray

A hundred years ago, on February 8, 1915, Bert Massey, a car salesman and member of Canada’s prominent Massey family, arrived at his Walmer Road home in Toronto to an unexpected and fatal surprise. Carrie Davies, his 18-year-old domestic servant, stood in the shadowy doorway, aimed the gun she was holding, and shot him in his side with his own 32-calibre Savage automatic pistol, “available in the Eaton’s catalogue for $18.” After firing another shot or two as he turned and ran, the tiny girl closed the door and disappeared inside the house with the weapon.