Articles written by: Irwin Block

Book review: A Land to Die For? by David Ranan
Reviews & Previews

Book review: A Land to Die For? by David Ranan

Throughout Israel’s embattled history, it has been a badge of honour to serve in the country’s armed forces. For obvious reasons, public expressions of conscientious objections, draft dodging or anti-war sentiments have been virtually non-existent. While objections to the draft remain relatively marginal, there has been a change among Israeli […]

Retiring teachers’ union leader: ‘Easy-peasy it was not’
Features

Retiring teachers’ union leader: ‘Easy-peasy it was not’

Union leadership usually begins on a voluntary basis, when none of your colleagues wants to accept the challenge of standing up for a worker’s rights, in the office or on the shop floor. It puts you in conflict with management, marks you as “the enemy within” and exposes you to […]

Controversial professor Norman Cornett sees his classroom as a laboratory
Features / What's Happening

Controversial professor Norman Cornett sees his classroom as a laboratory

A group of 25 adults gather around a table in a church hall on a Sunday afternoon to engage with a Montreal professor and his guest. Norman Cornett, 62, has convinced the usually private novelist Rawi Hage to attend a third session in what Cornett calls dialogic learning. It is […]

Music review: North American Jazz Alliance; The Montreal Sessions
Reviews & Previews

Music review: North American Jazz Alliance; The Montreal Sessions

North American Jazz Alliance; The Montreal Sessions (Challenge Records) The accordion never threatened the dominant place of the saxophone, trumpet or piano in jazz combos, but virtuoso Art Van Damme (1920-2010) was the instrument’s leading exponent. In the 1960s and 1970s, he created a unique group sound in combining his […]

Courtesy of stock.xchg
Features

Montreal’s linguistic geography nothing to ‘strahss’ over

As a fledgling journalist in 1964, I was assigned to cover federal politics for United Press International in Ottawa and it was a tremendous learning experience, including linguistically. As I worked with an older crowd of top-notch reporters on Parliament Hill, I realized I did not speak English the way […]

Senator Hugh Segal is ready to see job eliminated, if that’s what voters want
Features

Senator Hugh Segal is ready to see job eliminated, if that’s what voters want

Most Canadians would be hard pressed to name any of Canada’s 105 senators. That’s the nature of the beast. Our senators are appointed by the governor-general on the recommendation of the prime minister. They require no public support or accountability to serve until age 75, and barring a scandal they […]

Peru’s Inca Trail: No horsing around
Travel

Peru’s Inca Trail: No horsing around

The heroes of Machu Picchu are the porters, descendants of the peoples who were part of the Inca empire. The Inca made up the largest civilization in South America, which dominated what is now Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and into the mountains of Bolivia and Argentina from about 1300 until […]

Professionals play Musical Chairs
Features

Professionals play Musical Chairs

Their day jobs include hospital administrator and CEGEP teacher, but their love of music has brought them together in the reconstituted group called The Musical Chairs. February 28, the group performed before an enthusiastic crowd at the Manoir Westmount. It was their first gig since restarting a group formed 25 […]

MUHC: Groundbreaking researcher Phil Gold fueled by curiosity and heart
Features / Health

MUHC: Groundbreaking researcher Phil Gold fueled by curiosity and heart

The last thing you’d expect to find when visiting the office of a distinguished physician, researcher and professor is a collection of clowns. But that is exactly what Dr. Phil Gold has at his home-away-from-home, his office at the Montreal General Hospital. That is also where the executive director of […]

MUHC: Modern superhospital to house researchers, foster collaboration
Features

MUHC: Modern superhospital to house researchers, foster collaboration

The debate over big vs. small—when it comes to hospitals and renovating or building from scratch, or whether the city needs two mega hospitals, one English and one French—is history. Construction is moving ahead on both the MUHC superhospital at the Glen site, just behind Vendôme métro, and the CHUM […]