Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


July 28, 2013

Three of my enthusiasms to share this time:

1. basketball. NBA teams, in this case the Toronto Raptors, are using video technology to choreograph their play.

2. Woody Allen. His thirty best one-liners, at least according to the London ...

July 23, 2013

The new issue (#89) of Geist magazine is making its way onto newsstands. It contains my column about a new book, Desiring Canada (UofT Press), that takes on the always vexing topic of national identity.

The authors, Patricia Cormack and James Cosgrave, are both sociologists, which means that the book can be a little heavy-going at times, but it is worth the effort for its provocative discussion of several aspects of our popular culture (CBC...

July 21, 2013

The Daily Beast has an interview with Princeton U historian Anthony Grafton. "That's my preeminent method: let stuff fall on my head and then try to crawl out and put some order to it."

Active History has an article about that vexing question: what to do...

July 17, 2013

There is so much to ponder in Richard Evans's essay that appeared on the Guardian's website last weekend that I hardly know where to begin.

Evans, who is a professor of modern history at Cambridge and author of several books about Nazi Germany, was responding to the latest attempt by the education secretary, Michael Gove, to come up with a reformed curriculum for British schools. Evans is...

July 16, 2013

When I was researching my book, Trucking in British Columbia, I heard a lot of stories about the pioneer wheel jockeys who hauled through the Fraser Canyon in the 1920s and 1930s. The route was winding and steep, without guardrails of any kind, unpaved and potholed. Rock slides were a constant threat and the roadbed could simply collapse into the canyon at any moment, washed away by rainfall and snow melt....