Book Reviews

Table of Contents

  1. Lakehead University Philosophy Professor Sandra Tomsons negatively critiques There Is No Difference, in which scholarly paper Professor Tomsons states, amongst other very stimulating and thought–provoking statements, that “Canada is an illegitimate nation on Turtle Island.”
  2. The Novelist Anthony Trollope as a Guide and Moral Support for an Unpopular Political Argument.
  3. Book review of Tanya Talaga’s overrated Seven Fallen Feathers.
  4. Book review of Frances Widdowson’s very worthwhile Separate but Unequal- How Parallelist Ideology Conceals Indigenous Dependency.
  5.  Book review of Harold R. Johnson’s useful but angry, unjustified and impractical Peace and Good Order- The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada.
  6. Book Review of Pamela Palmator’s  Indigenous Nationhood-Empowering Grassroots Citizens
  7. What Can Harold Cardinal’s The Unjust Society Tell Us About the Indigenous Situation in Canada Today?
  8. Book review of Unreconciled– By Jesse Wente – Through A Glass Darkly and 90% Empty.
  9. Book Review of Permanent Astonishment – By Tomson Highway – Positive and Universal.
  10. Reflections on Reflections: The Relevance of the Writings of Edmund Burke to the Passage, Interpretation and Implementation of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982
  11. How the Wisdom in the Writings of the Novelist George Eliot Can Inform Views of the Indigenous Situation in Canada

  1. Lakehead University Philosophy Professor, Sandra Tomsons, in her most stimulating December, 2021 scholarly paper entitled Seeing Differences Differently: Peter Best and Morally Relevant Differences, negatively critiques, but in admirable and high-minded tone and substance, There Is No Difference.

https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/csspe/vol7/1/2/


2.

The Novelist Anthony Trollope as a Guide and Moral Support for an Unpopular Political Argument.

I wrote and self-published a book, There Is No Difference, an argument based on the Enlightenment principle of equality under the law- an argument that is seemingly and strangely forbidden entry into the Canadian marketplace of ideas- for the repeal of all laws underlying the existence of Indian reserves and all other special rights and privileges possessed by Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, and for the completion of what I regard as the already well under way process of the social and economic assimilation of Canadian Aboriginals into the mainstream of modern, urban, 21st century Canada. Follow the link below to see what the heck this has to do with the amazing, brilliant, insightful, super-prolific English novelist Anthony Trollope.

Click here the full article.


3.

Book Review- A Criticism of Tanya Talaga’s Seven Fallen Feathers

In chapter 12 of There Is No Difference, entitled The Essential Humanity of the Migrators to Canada, I defend our Canadian ancestors, and decry the modern literary and cultural bien pensants’ tendency to casually and offensively stereotype present-day non-Indigenous Canadians and our non-Indigenous ancestors as “colonialist”, land-stealing, (and worse) racists. I review four books by prominent, modern-day Canadians whose books epitomize this Euro-Canadian culturally self-denigrating-self-castigating trend to falsely portray modern and ancestral non-Indigenous Canadians in such shallow, cartoonish, offensive and racially stereotypical ways. These basically anti-Euro-Canadian-culture books, all lauded but vastly over-rated, are Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian, the late Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse, John Ralston Saul’s The Comeback, and Bob Rae’s What Happened to Politics. Since my book was published Tanya Talaga’s Seven Fallen Feathers came out, continuing this dreadful trend on the part of our cultural elites to completely abandon their critical faculties and fall all over themselves, mainly because of the Indigenous subject matter, to celebrate and extol harmful, victimhood-obsessive, racially-stereotyping, high-on-sanctimony but low-on-mature-intellectual-quotient works . Ms. Talaga, a fly-in Indigenous supporter who lives and works in Toronto, lets the reader know early on that all the heart-breaking Thunder Bay tragedies suffered by the subjects of her book are all the fault of “the whiteface, who wears button-down shirts, eats at the Keg, and lives in a cookie-cutter house in a brand new subdivision with a Kia parked in the driveway.” (What a dehumanizing, racist stereotype! The exact thing she decries in her book!) The book continues at this juvenile, racially insulting, cartoonish and divisive level to its reality-avoiding conclusion, which is boiled down to… “Just send us more money so we can organize more “programs”!” (Not one mention throughout the book  that it’s the very existence of the reserve system, that is not amenable to improvement by means of more money and programs, that is the fundamental cause of the tragedies so well-described in her book.)

Link (click here) to a counter-narrative book review by Peter Best of Tanya Talaga’s 2017 award-winning book about the tragic death of seven Indigenous teenagers in Thunder Bay, Seven Fallen Feathers


4.

Book Review of Professor France Widdowson’s excellent new book Separate But Unequal- How Parallelist Ideology Conceals Indigenous Dependency

Frances Widdowson was one of the first writers in Canada to, in her and her husband Albert Howard’s  book, Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry-The Deception Behind Indigenous Cultural Industry, point out that “the Emperor has no clothes” with regard to many aspects of the Indian Industry. It was a brave book. She took a lot of ad hominem heat for it, but as far as I know it stands unrefuted. A review of her excellent follow up book is immediately below. My only complaint about it is that its recommendations don’t go far enough- don’t logically follow from her excellent and scholarly analysis of the hopeless and near-fraudulent Indigenous status quo. A prime example of the revolt against reason and against free and open debate and enquiry now happening at our liberal arts universities, this courageous, serious and principled scholar was wrongfully dismissed by Mount Royal University in December of 2021.

Book Review of Separate But Unequal, by Frances Widdowson

https://tnc.news/2022/01/03/professor-who-criticized-indigenization-agenda-fired-by-university/embed/#?secret=F9RaKiWmot


5.

Book Review of Harold R. Johnson’s Peace and Good Order- The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada

Harold R. Johnson was a criminal lawyer in Saskatchewan who, over a 20 year career, acted as both prosecutor and defense counsel. He was on the front lines of the collision between Indigenous reserve wrongdoers and the criminal justice system. In his former book, Firewater, he ascribed the major cause of this tragic, ever-repeating collision to alcohol addiction. It was a very useful. eye-opening, searing description of the scourge of alcohol on reserves. In Peace and Good Order he repeats this description, (confirming my view that the reserves, for the sake of saving lives, have to be eventually done away with), and offers as a very unreal solution to all this tragedy the establishment of a separate Indigenous justice system. The presentation of the evidence is excellent but the arguments that this obviously good man makes based on the evidence, tragically for Indigenous peoples, constitute fantasy-thinking.

Book Review of Peace and Good Order- The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada


6.

Book Review of Pamela Palmater’s Indigenous Nationhood- Empowering Grassroots Citizens

Ms. Palmater is an associate professor and “Chair in Indigenous Governance” at Ryerson University. Her book, reviewed here, is a fairly nasty screed against her fellow Canadians, whom she accuses of being racist in all sorts of ways, (notwithstanding that, personally, she seems to be doing very well by us).  The contents of this book are interesting but a bit much to take at times, especially knowing that we, the Canadian taxpayers, (federal, Manitoba and Nova Scotia) subsidized its publication. We can’t be all bad if we contribute towards the cost of our own character assassination! In my book, There Is No Difference I have a chapters called Devolving Control of Education to Indians, A “First Nations” Education, and The Academic Gyp of “Identity Studies. Ms. Palmater’s book bears out much of what I wrote there.


7.

What Can Harold Cardinal’s The Unjust Society Tell Us About the Indigenous Situation in Canada Today?

Indigenous elites were really upset when Pierre Trudeau introduced his White Paper in 1969, recommending what There Is No Difference argues for: the phasing out of the reserves and, over time, making Indigenous peoples equal under the law with all the rest of Canadians. This Indigenous anger found voice in Harold Cardinal’s Indigenous rights book, The Unjust Society, published the same year. This book was a wish list of everything Mr. Cardinal said would, if granted, solve all Indigenous social and economic  problems. Over the past 50 years most of Mr. Cardinal’s wishes for his people, as set out in The Unjust Society have been granted. So how has that worked out?

Harold Cardinal – The Unjust Society

Harold Cardinal article


8.

There are negative forces in the human psyche “forever in collision with beauty, virtue and the gentle uses of life.” (George Eliot) We all have to wage a daily fight against these forces. Like Ms. Talaga and Ms. Palmater, Mr. Wente doesn’t even try to do this in his biography Unreconciled, a harsh and dark screed against his country and his fellow Canadians, at least those Canadians unfortunate enough to be born “white.”

Unreconciled– By Jesse Wente – Through A Glass Darkly and 90% Empty


9.

On the other hand, Tomson Highway, in his biography, having had a much tougher and more challenging childhood than Mr. Wente, personifies man’s better angels aspirations and inclinations towards beauty, virtue and the gentle uses of life- towards, not the darkness, but the light.

Permanent Astonishment – By Tomson Highway – Positive and Universal

Abbreviated version of this book review published by Frontier Centre for Public Policy, January 4th, 2022

10.

Reflections on Reflections: The Relevance of the Writings of Edmund Burke to the Passage, Interpretation and Implementation of section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982

11.

How the Wisdom in the Writings of the Novelist George Eliot Can Inform Views of the Indigenous Situation in Canada

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