The Last Best Place

      John Demont

The Last Best Place

A writer returns to Nova Scotia, and finding it almost unrecognizable, sets out to capture the essence of his ancestral province--a place as strange and wild as anywhere on the continent.

John DeMont visits places as diverse as a Buddhist abbey; the first free black settlement outside Africa; an island that harbours pirate treasure; and a backwoods barndance where the music of 18th-century Scotland lives on. He visits tuna smugglers and moonshiners; the brooding painter Alex Colville; spiritual seekers from Japan, the US and Europe; and Anne Murray's greatest Austrian fans. He also races yachts with summer residents; patrols the coast for drug smugglers with the Mounties; and casts for salmon with the wisest fishing guides.

A road book with a difference, and an endearing search for home, The Last Best Place is wry and wise, as quirky and lively as Nova Scotia itself.

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    Coal Black Heart

      John Demont

Coal Black Heart

A major new work of history, told through the stories of a teeming cast of characters.

The history of coal is the story of the last two centuries of the industrialized world. Coal has powered that world, and controlled the destinies of millions. And nowhere has that influence run more deeply than in Nova Scotia, where the industry's rise and decline has transformed society twice.

Coal Black Heart is a global history that centres unapologetically on one province, and the generations of people whose lives there have been shaped by this dominating industry. There are the miners. There are the moonshiners and brooding social reformers and charismatic preachers who gave the mining towns their particular feel and flair. And there are the profiteers whose greed led to disaster.

This is history as great storytelling - enthralling, involving, deeply moving, and it is a very personal narrative. A brilliant reporter, journalist, and author who has spent most...

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    A Good Day's Work

      John Demont

A Good Day's Work

A Good Day's Work is a lyrical journey through a semi-mythological place: the Canada of our imagination. It is the Canada of the day before yesterday. Or perhaps the Canada of 1967 -- the country's "Last Good Year," as Pierre Berton dubbed it. It is a portrait of Canada captured by way of encounters with a blacksmith, a cowgirl, a milkman, a traveling salesman and other custodians of trades from another time. Woven into the always engaging, sometimes strange, sometimes moving and frequently funny interviews are the ruminations and personal reflections of that wonderful writer John DeMont (who as a newspaper reporter and columnist of a certain age is something of a vanishing tradesman himself).
The iconic Canada--the country of close-knit small towns, of common geography and history, of meaningful work and communal values and institutions--is being transformed. John DeMont has gone in search of people who make their living the old way, in an attempt to distill the...

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