Baraka Books

  • 21 Days in October

    Magali Favre

    It's before dawn in Montreal on October 16, 1970. Gaétan is finishing his shift at Dominion Textile just as the Canadian government proclaims the War Measures Act following two kidnappings-the only time in history outside of the two World Wars. Police and soldiers storm the streets and make sweeping arrests, imprisoning nearly 500 Quebec citizens without charge and holding them incommunicado for up to 21 days. Recounted in as many chapters, Gaétan's experience during those dramatic days forces him to re-examine his own beliefs as his world is sucked into a maelstrom of political activity ...

    Quebec is poised for change. But is Gaétan ready?

    His friend is arrested for taking part in a union meeting, his father, for speaking out too loudly about city elections during the crisis. By chance, Gaétan meets Louise, a young college student from a different background with radical friends. Louise takes a keen interest in him.
    During this troubled time, young people will confront unrelenting factory work, unemployment, and even imprisonment, but also hope, political commitment, and first love. They come to understand the sources of revolt.

    Is this a true story? No.

    Could this have happened in Canada? Yes.

  • Pierre-Claver Ndacyayisenga was a history teacher in Kigali when he was forced to flee to the neighbouring Congo (Zaïre) with his wife and three children. Thus began a harrowing five-year voyage of 9781926824789 low ressurvival during which they travelled thousands of kilometers on foot from one refugee camp to another. Lacking food and water, they were often robbed, sometimes raped but were constantly pursued and bombed by shadowy Rwandan-backed armed soldiers with sophisticated weapons and aerial surveillance information. He and his family were among the more than three hundred thousand refugees who, for the most part, did not survive to tell their story.

    Dying To Live is an ode to the human capacity to survive against all odds. Pierre-Claver Ndacyayisenga brilliantly and touchingly tells a story that has been silenced for too long. It will help restore the humanity and the right to mourn to hundreds of thousands of Rwandans dispersed throughout the world.

  • Who has never encountered a bully? Who has never told-or been told-a story of a bully? With an uncanny insight into what bullies are all about, Nick Fonda brings sensitivity and even humour to an otherwise sinister topic.
    Everybody knows that bullying is not limited to physical violence or intimidation and that bullies don´t necessarily look or dress like thugs. Through the voices of boys and girls, men and women, Nick Fonda recounts events and puts words to feelings and emotions that mark people´s lives. His characters include the biased principal who wreaks havoc as he protects his own pets, wicked adoptive parents, and the neighborhood tough who, with his parents´ approval, terrorizes anybody smaller than him.

    These eleven intriguing stories, ably illustrated by Denis Palmer, will charm, surprise, and stir readers. A thought-provoking delight for educators, parents, and students, in fact, anybody who has been confronted by abuse of power, be it subtle or flagrant.

  • When President Barack Obama demanded formally in the summer of 2011 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down, it was not the first time Washington had sought regime change in Damascus. The United States had waged a long war against Syria from the very moment the country's fiercely independent Arab nationalist movement came to power in 1963. Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad were committed to that movement. Washington sought to purge Arab nationalist influence from the Syrian state and the Arab world more broadly. It was a threat to Washington's agenda of establishing global primacy and promoting business-friendly investment climates for US banks, investors and corporations throughout the world. Arab nationalists aspired to unify the world's 400 million Arabs into a single super-state capable of challenging United States hegemony in West Asia and North Africa. They aimed to become a major player on the world stage free from the domination of the former colonial powers and the US. Washington had waged long wars on the leaders of the Arab nationalist movement. These included Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria's Assads. To do so, the US often allied with particularly violent forms of political Islam to undermine its Arab nationalist foes. By 2011, only one pan-Arabist state remained in the region-Syria. In Washington's Long War on Syria Stephen Gowans examines the decades-long struggle for control of Syria. This struggle involved secular Arab nationalism, political Islam, and United States imperialism, the self-proclaimed Den of Arabism, and last secular pan-Arabist state in the region.

  • In June 1964, courageous young civil rights workers risked their lives in the face of violence, intimidation, illegal arrests, and racism to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi, which had historically excluded most blacks from voting. With a firsthand account of the details and thoughtful descriptions of key people on the front lines, including Fannie Lou Hamer, Charles McLaurin, John Harris, Irene McGruder, and many more, author Jim Dann brings that historic period back to life. He places those 15 months in Mississippiknown as Freedom Summerin the overall history of the struggle of African Americans for freedom, equality, and democratic rights in the South, the country, and throughout the world. Fraught with lessons drawn from those experiences, Challenging the Mississippi Firebombers is a valuable contribution to understanding and advancing civil rights struggles in addition to being a fascinating and engrossing story of a pivotal moment in the mid-20th-century United States.

  • Jake McCool, the injured hard-rock miner introduced in The Raids (Vol. 1), returns to work for INCO, but now at its nearby Copper Cliff smelter complex. In no time, he finds himself embroiled in a vicious fight over health and safety. Particularly alarming are the extreme levels of sulphur dioxide that poison the air in the smelter but also in the entire surrounding area, thus creating Sudbury's infamous "lunar landscape." The fight takes on new dimensions when free-lance reporter Foley Gilpin, who had worked for the Mine Mill union in The Raids, sparks attention at The Globe & Mail. At the same time local parliamentarian Harry Wardell smells high-level collusion between Inco and the government at Queen's Park in Toronto. Through the lives of Jake and his girlfriend Jo Ann Winters, their roommate Foley Gilpin, and a new cast of characters, Mick Lowe chronicles an entire community's eco-defiance.

  • The book comprises three parts. The first part addresses the little-discussed but crucial events preceding the assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali declared, "The Rwandan genocide was 100% American Responsibility." Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali declared, "The Rwandan genocide was 100% American Responsibility." on April 6, 1994, which triggered massive killings. These include the invasion in 1990, drawn-out guerrilla and terrorist warfare, imposition of a new political and economic order followed by an ill named "peace process" that sanctified the occupation of the country by the invading army, and the assassination of two African heads of state.

    The second part, "The Heart of Dark Imaginations," shows how popular literature on Rwanda has been built on the old clichés, metaphors, and conventions generated during 400 years of slavery, the slave trade, and colonialism, and helped justify them. The resulting narrative is perfectly crafted for the "new scramble for Africa." The third part takes down the so-called international criminal justice as applied to Rwanda and explains how and why the murderous, never-ending war in Congo began.

  • More than a biography and `bigger than boxing', The Complete Muhammad Ali is a fascinating portrait of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. Ishmael Reed calls it The Complete Muhammad Ali because most of the hundred odd books about the Champion are "either too adoring or make excessively negative assertions." They also omit many voices that deserve to be heard. Ishmael Reed charts Muhammad Ali's evolution from Black Nationalism to universalism, but gives due credit to the Nation's of Islam's and Black Nationalism's important influence on Ali's intellectual development. People who led these organizations are given a chance to speak up. Sam X, who introduced Ali to the Nation of Islam, said that without his mentor Elijah Muhammad, nobody would ever have heard of Ali. That remark cannot be ignored. Reed, an accomplished poet, novelist, essayist and playwright, casts his inquisitive eye on a man who came to represent the aspirations of so many people worldwide and so many causes. He also brings to bear his own experience as an African American public figure, born in the South in the same period, as well as an encyclopaedic grasp of American history. People interviewed include Marvin X, Harry Belafonte, Hugh Masakela, Jack Newfield, Ed Hughes, Emmanuel Steward, Amiri Baraka, Agieb Bilal, Emil Guillermo, Khalilah Ali, Quincy Troupe, Rahaman Ali, Melvin Van Peebles, Ray Robinson, Jr., Ed Hughes, Jesse Jackson, Martin Wyatt, Bennett Johnson, Stanley Crouch, Bobby Seale, and many more. Reed also places the Muhammad Ali phenomenon in the history of boxing and boxers from before the times of Jack Johnson, through Joe Louis and Archie Moore to Floyd Mayweather. He also includes Canadian fights and fighters like Tommy Burns, George Chuvalo and Yvon Durelle. "The Heavyweight Championship of the World," wrote Reed in a 1976 Village Voice headline article shortly after third Ali-Norton fight, "is a sex show, a fashion show, scene of intrigue between different religions, politics, classes; a gathering of stars, ex-stars, their hangers-on, and hangers-on assistants." The author of the much cited Writin' is Fightin' has now produced what will likely be known not only as The Complete Muhammad Ali but also "the definitive Muhammad Ali."

  • Though both parents were alive, Richard and his four brothers lived in an orphanage for five years! It was in 1959, five floors of dormitories at fifty children a floor, with nuns cells on each floor. Richard recalls that, as in all concentration-camp systems, daily life is dull and repetitive. Some get up, make their beds, say their prayers, while others line up for the strap. Its just routine. Sometimes for some people its fun, or at least tolerable. For others, it is unbearable. But this tale does not settle old scores or vent bitterness. It will have you laughing and crying. It is simply the short and moving story of how Richard began the rest of his life.

  • Going Too Far

    Ishmael Reed

    Ishmael Reed goes too far, again! Just as the fugitive slaves went to Canada and challenged the prevailing view that slaves were well off under their masters, Ishmael Reed has gone all the way to Quebecwhere this book is publishedto challenge the widespread opinion that racism is no longer a factor in American life.

    In some ways, says Reed, the United States very much resembles the country of the 1850s. The representations of blacks in popular culture are throwbacks to the days of minstrelsy. Politicians are raising stereotypes about blacks reminiscent of those that the fugitive slaves found it necessary to combat: that they are lazy and dependent and need people to manage them.
    Ishmael Reed establishes his diagnosis of a nervous breakdown in three parts. Part I on a black president of the United States is entitled Chief Executive and Chief Exorcist, Too? Part II on culture and representations of African Americans in our supposed post-race era, Coonery and Buffoonery. In Part III, As Relayed by Themselves, cultural figures have a chance to tell the story in their own words.

  • This smartly illustrated literary miscellanea will pique the interest of English prose enthusiasts anywhere. From "Dead Language - the Speaks" (e.g. ad-speak, etc.) to "Re-writing - Again?" and "Rules - Must We Obey?" authors Healey and Strube scrutinize prose in its various forms to reflect on what constitutes distinctive writing, and why. Included are samples of timeless fiction, astute quotes from celebrated authors, and ruminations on the difficulties of conveying, in prose, the mysteries of the human mind. Those interested in "words in their best order" (Coleridge) will find themselves (dare we say) exhilarated..

  • An extraordinary testimony by Claude Lacaille, a Quebec missionary fighting for social justice in Haiti, Ecuador and Chile. This is Lacaille's first-hand account of the extraordinary oppression and poverty he witnessed in Haiti, Ecuador, and Chile between 1965 and 1986 where thousands shed blood simply for resisting oppressive regimes, politics and economic doctrines. The men and women featured in Lacaille's story are an inspiration for those who still believe in a better world. This is an impressive story of courage and solidary, inspired by a left-wing Christianity truly faithful to the Gospel. Claude Lacaille's memoir helps understand what "the preferential option for the poor" really means. Like other advocates of Liberation Theology, Claude Lacaille saw it as his duty to join the resistance, particularly against Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet. But the dictators were not alone; they enjoyed the support of the Vatican under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

  • The Raids

    Mick Lowe

    It's spring, 1963 in the "Nickel Capital of the World." Nineteen-year-old Jake McCool is about to undergo a rite of passage-his first shift underground in a hard rock mine. But the Cold War is at its height, and Jake is also about to become a reluctant participant in a bitter inter-union battle fuelled by the global struggle between two ideologies in the wake of the Second World War. So is his girlfriend, Jo Ann Winters. Together the couple will be swept up in a web of intrigue; at its centre is a terrible secret that will haunt their relationship for the rest of their lives, as their hometown becomes not only one of the world's greatest hard rock mining centres, but also the epicenter of the Cold War in North America.

  • The Anti-Gallic Letters by Adam Thom were published in book form in 1836. They are based on Thom's editorials in the Montreal Herald written under the nom de plume "Camillus" between September 1835 and January 1836. They were never reprinted despite the importance of the people for whom Adam Thom was the public voice. These people comprised the Executive Committee of the powerful Constitutional Association of Montreal, including the president George Moffatt and Peter McGill. Adam Thom was also co-author of the Durham Report that laid the foundations for the Act of Union and the BNA Act of 1867 creating The Dominion of Canada.Anti-gallic Letters Addressed to His Excellency, the Earl of Gos

    More than an anti-French, anti-Republican tract, The Anti-Gallic Letters, though largely ignored by historians, are crucial to understanding how British North America mutated into The Dominion of Canada in 1867. The Anti-Gallic Letters have been erroneously characterized as representative of a minor discord between the Melbourne cabinet in London and a select group of Montreal merchants, bankers, and gentlemen in the Tory oligarchy. In fact, they reveal the total disagreement among people of British culture and background on how to exercise power in the colonies of Canada and to protect the interests of the British Empire.

    Westminster was inspired by the 1832 Reform Bill. The Melbourne cabinet believed in a gradual and harmonious transfer of British parliamentary values and institutions to a majority group who had a different culture and background and another widely-used international language. This majority was what Governor Gosford described as "the great body of people" in his 1835 Throne speech read in French. Yet the Montreal Tory Oligarchy, stirred by fear and bravado, anticiapted the worst, even though they defended the same British imperial world mission. For them, Montreal was to be the hub of the British North America that was developing, a competitor of New York. They brandished the spectre of the British Empire being dismembered, either by a French Republic arising in the St. Lawrence Valley or the annexation of Upper and Lower Canada by the powerful American Republic. This threat justified in turn their own threats to take up arms to make Downing Street change its course.

    François Deschamps shows that they succeeded across the board. First in 1837 came the brutal repression of the Patriotes in Lower Canada and the Reformers in Upper Canada, then the Durham Report and the Act of Union of 1840, and finally the 1867 BNA Act creating the Dominion of Canada. Thence the word Prophetic in the title of this new edition of The Anti-Gallic Letters.

    Now reprinted with Deschamps's fascinating presentation and notes, the Anti-Gallic Letters provide new insight to Canadian-and North American-history as Canada prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the Dominion of Canada in 2017.

  • Courage, diplomacy, love, and conspiracy make for an action-packed adventure in a little-known past. This third instalment of the series continues Radisson's adventures with the Jesuits and the Iroquois. Mastering the Iroquois language and customs, Radisson leads a mission of French traders and Jesuits to Onondaga in an attempt to build alliances and trade for much-prized furs. But it quickly becomes apparent that the Iroquois are bitterly divided over whether or not to welcome the French and their missionaries among them. Radisson's skills in diplomacy are tested, as he tempers the ardour of the Jesuits and calms the arrogant and distrustful French traders, and cultivates friendships with the Iroquois who favour peace. With their lives at stake, Radisson and Father Ragueneau devise a secret plan to escape. During the ordeal he also learns that peace is worth far more than war, a principle that will guide him in the future. Based on true events as recounted by Radisson, The Incredible Escape, Volume 3 of The Adventures of Radisson will thrill readers young and old, recounting the early history of North America in modern accessible language. For background see Vol. 1 Hell Never Burns and Vol. 2 Back to the New World.

  • For the first time in a book, defence counsel, investigators, journalists, and academics pool their knowledge and experience to answer the burning questions. What has happened to the fundamental principles of the sovereign equality of nations and the right of self-determination? Why do international criminal tribunals target Africa? How has international criminal justice affected the lives of citizens throughout the world? What about universal jurisdiction? Does foreign policy trump justice?
    The seventeen essays in this broadly scoped collection are grouped in four parts: 1) International Criminal Justice in the Eyes of Africans and African Americans; 2) The ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals; 3) Universal Jurisdiction ... in a Single Country; 4) Justice for All?
    Contributors include Chief Charles A. Taku, Michel Chossudovsky, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, Théogène Rudasingwa, Jordi Palou-Loverdos, Philippe Larochelle, Beth S. Lyons, André Sirois, David Jacobs, Fannie Lafontaine, Phil Taylor and more.
    Justice Belied marks a turning point in understanding how tainted international criminal justice undermines political solutions and imposes superpower dictat.

  • Frederick Coburn (1871-1960) was arguably Canada's best-known painter at the peak of his career. Nick Fonda revisits Coburn's work providing charming new insight into the painter and his surroundings. His method includes casting an inquisitive gaze on other accomplished artists who have followed unusual paths as they responded to the same muse that moved Coburn a century ago, Quebec's Eastern Townships. These include Minnie Gill, Denis Palmer, Mary Martin, Stuart Main, France Jodoin, and Keven Sonmor, and more.
    Based on interviews with neighbours and Coburn aficionados and Nick Fonda's own thorough understanding of the milieu in which Coburn grew up, lived, and worked, Hanging Fred and a Few Others is more than a biography of an important artist. It is also a lively and fascinating reflection on the role of place-the Eastern Townships-in an artist's life.
    F.S. Coburn, in addition to being a painter, was an accomplished photographer. Nick Fonda, with the help of Bob Laberge, also presents 14 photos from the family collection, all taken or inspired by Frederick Coburn.

  • Alex McKenzie is back, a promising young hockey player who hopes to make the juniors in Quebec City. Though he still prefers fishing and roaming bush roads on his quad, he trains hard under his demanding coach Larry in his hometown on the Lower North Shore of the St. Lawrence.

    His buddy Tommy is vying to make the juniors too. Once in Quebec City, things change. Tommy gets sullen and obnoxious as he hangs out with some dubious types. He and Alex grow apart and then tragedy strikes. In this sequel to Break Away, Jessie on my Mind, young people deal with powerful peer pressure, budding love, and catastrophe.

  • How did Franz Boas become the central founder of anthropology and a driving force promoting science in public life in North America? To answer this question, linguistic and cultural barriers must be overcome to grasp the importance of Boas's personal background and academic achievements as a German Jew. Mu

  • From love lost on a canoe trip, clashing values and naked conflict between natives and newcomers, to the barroom and prison enforcer straight out of a Johnny Cash song, Poirier writes vividly about the people and land he loves and inhabits. In five stories and one novella, readers escape the big city, live in the wilds or small tough towns, and experience the challenges of nature and human nature in all their complexities.

  • NATOs war in Libya was proclaimed as a humanitarian interventionbombing in the name of saving lives. Attempts at diplomacy were stifled. Peace talks were subverted. Libya was barred from representing itself at the UN, where shadowy NGOs and human rights groups held full sway in propagating exaggerations, outright falsehoods, and racial fear mongering that served to sanction atrocities and ethnic cleansing in the name of democracy. The rush to war was far speedier than Bushs invasion of Iraq.

    Max Forte has scrutinized the documentary history from before, during, and after the war. He argues that the war on Libya was not about human rights, nor entirely about oil, but about a larger process of militarizing U.S. relations with Africa. The development of the Pentagons Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was in fierce competition with Pan-Africanist initiatives such as those spearheaded by Muammar Gaddafi.

    Far from the success NATO boasts about or the high watermark proclaimed by proponents of the Responsibility to Protect, this war has left the once prosperous, independent and defiant Libya in ruin, dependency and prolonged civil strife.

  • Spring 1651: a young man from Paris lands in Trois-Rivières on the St. Lawrence River. Within weeks, the course of his life changes drastically when Iroquois braves capture him. Pierre-Esprit Radisson, then 15 years old, begins a new life. Canoeing rivers and lakes and portaging over mountains, Radissons captors take him to distant lands where first they torture him and adopt him as their brother. Radisson then becomes the Iroquois Orinha, goes to war with his new brothers, and learns the life and the ways of his new family.

  • The year is 1684. Young Eustache Bréman leaves a life of misery begging on the streets of France for a second chance in the New World with his mom, his sweetheart Marie-Élisabeth, and Marie-Élisabeth's family. But life is tough, with plenty more tragedy and disappointment to come on Cavelier De La Salle's ill-fated expedition to the Mississippi. Mutinous leaders, bloodthirsty freebooters, a hostile Karankawa nation and the wild Gulf Coast bayous make for heartbreaking adventure. Weaving real historical events into the day-to-day concerns of a young boy, this action-packed novel poses some troubling questions along the way. Will God answer Eustache's prayers? Will young love conquer all? Or will the men's true nature be revealed and bring about their downfall?

  • When some claim austerity is the only answer to today's economic woes, a close look at the best practices in Scandinavia and Finland gives pause for thought. Cited as models for their egalitarian social and health policies, these countries also have thriving economies where the gap dividing rich from poor is smaller than elsewhere. Despite their quasi mythic status, the policies implemented to combat inequalities in health are neither well known nor understood. Policies discussed in Scandinavian Common Sense include education, housing, conciliation of work and family life, daycare, sustainable development and more. For these policies to be part of political debate, be it in Quebec, Canada, the United States or elsewhere, they must be in the public domain. That is the purpose of this book.

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