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As Bruce Trigger explains in his preface, Canada in the European Age, 1453-1919 was the first history in which native peoples appeared as genuine actors in human dramas - mainly tragedies - instead of as part of the flora and fauna in the background. By stressing the interconnections between the grand events of the conquest and subjegation of the globe by European empire builders and the less dramatic events in Canada, Naylor's book led to a fundamental reinterpretation of Canadian social, economic, and political history.
A critique of the lifestyles of today's ultra rich bolstered by old-fashioned muckraking, Crass Struggle provides a sharp, original, and often humorous commentary on "the bad side of the good life, the underbelly of the potbelly." Taking the reader inside today's luxury trades, R.T. Naylor visits gold mines spewing arsenic and diamond fields spreading human misery, knocks on the doors of purveyors of luxury seafood as the oceans empty, samples wares of merchants offering top-vintage wines (or at least top-vintage labels), calls on companies running trophy-hunting expeditions and dealers in exotic pets high on endangered lists, and much more. What stands out is that so many high-priced items glitter on the outside, but have more than a spot of rot at the core. Through a series of outrageous but all too true stories, Crass Struggle reveals the appalling consequences of consumerism run amok and its links to repetitive financial swindles and the alarming degradation of the biophysical environment.
An unprecedented work in Canadian historiography, The History of Canadian Business, 1867-1914 has been chosen by the Social Sciences Federation of Canada as one of the twenty most outstanding works in the field in the last half of the twentieth century.
Almost everyone assumes that by enforcing trade sanctions and arms embargoes, modern democracies make tin-pot dictators and rogue states mend their ways - that the application of economic pressure is easily the most effective way to curb aggression and encourage respect for human rights. R.T. Naylor demonstrates that economic warfare fails almost everywhere it is attempted, and that even when it succeeds, it has consequences that are not only unintended, but also frequently the precise opposite of their advertised result. For instance, embargoes drove Cuba into the awkward embrace of the Soviet Union. Everywhere that economic pressures have been used to either replace or augment military actions, the result has been confusion leading to criminality. From east to west, from before WWI to the recent confrontations with Pakistan, Bosnia, and Iraq, the legacy of economic warfare has been money laundering, gun-running, drug smuggling, and evasion of the rule of law. Naylor's approach is at once epic and anecdotal. His survey is populated by a bizarre underworld of warriors and smugglers, gangsters and spies, whose singular careers would be comic if they weren't absolutely real.
Naylor argues that bin Laden's role in various terrorist activities has been grossly exaggerated and that the idea of al-Qa?idah as a well-financed, centrally directed movement is a fable akin to misconceptions about the Mafia. Satanic Purses makes clear that the myths surrounding the war on terror, especially the alleged existence of hordes of Islamic terror dollars, have led Western countries, particularly the US, to policies that create death and disorder abroad and the loss of due process and privacy at home.
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