Comment 96453

By Selway (registered) | Posted January 05, 2014 at 01:28:13

Thanks for posting this.

I haven't seen this book, I don't know why not as it's been around for a while. After looking at some sample pages I find it very succinct. Good as a portable field guide, which seems to be the intention.

Also good for infrastructure is Disher and Smith's By Design: the role of the engineer in the Hamilton Burlington Area. ( Hamilton Engineering Interface, 2001). At 191 pages with lots of pictures and very clear maps it is just big enough.

For the actual performance of the work that built the place, a good overview is All That Our Hands Have Done: a pictorial history of the Hamilton workers ( Heron, Hofmitz, Roberts, Storey, Mosaic Press, 1980). Despite the subtitle, this has enough text to keep you oriented. The images are of men, women, and children producing the world of electric motors, tires, cigarettes, cotton clothing, pitted olives, rail cars, anti-aircraft guns and on and on, as well as many off-shift moments.

The natural situation is surveyed very well in From Mountain to Lake: the Red Hill Creek Valley ( ed. Walter Peace, The Conserver Society of Hamilton and District, 1998.) Again, the subtitle is misleading as the history and geography described are much wider than that of the Valley. A good companion to this book is Natural Landscapes of the Dundas Valley ( Richard and Eleanore Kosydar, Tierceron Design, 1989.) And of course for the Iroquois Bar there is John Terpstra's Falling Into Place (Gaspereau Press 2002), a handsome volume in all ways.

For politics the best introduction (not everyone would agree) remains Their Town: the Mafia, the Media and the Party Machine (Freeman and Hewitt, Lorimer and Company, 1979). Unfortunately this book ends its story in the mid-seventies and there has yet to be a sequel. Most helpful for understanding the current cityscape is Margaret T. Rockwell's unpublished 2004 M.A. thesis Modernist Destruction for the Ambitious City: Hamilton Ontario's experience with Urban Renewal. This is on the shelves at Mac (Mills Library) but does not exist in authorized electronic form, which is regrettable. The newcomer who reads this 120 page essay will find there the solutions to a great many things which must be quite baffling to them when they first arrive. Briefly: we were hit by a meteor.

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