Daniel Francis

Daniel Francis is a writer and historian. He is the author of two dozen books, including The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture (Arsenal Pulp Press). He lives in North Vancouver. Read more of his work at

Acts of Resistance

"Resistance to wars is as much a Canadian tradition as fighting them." Daniel Francis discusses alternative histories, anti-draft demonstrations and the divisive nature of war. more »


Folly of War

Daniel Francis reviews All Else Is Folly, a "useful antidote" to the patriotic narrative that hails World War I as Canada's "coming of age." more »


Time for a Rewrite

Aboriginal people are creating a new version of Canada, and non-Aboriginals can lend a hand or get out of the way—Daniel Francis on the new Canadian narrative. more »

Columns 1 Comments

Rum Row

From Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-Runners, and Border Wars. more »


Park In Progress

Daniel Francis asks why a high-speed commuter route runs through Stanley Park, Vancouver's precious urban oasis. more »


Toronto The Good

Daniel Francis reviews Toronto: Biography of a City, a book bound to irritate readers who live outside Toronto—the "centre of the Canadian universe." more »


When Treatment Becomes Torture

Daniel Francis discusses Canada's failing mental health care system and its long history of mistreatment. more »

Columns 2 Comments

We Are Not a Nation of Amnesiacs

"Canadians have long been convinced that we do not know much, or care much, about our own history, but a new study suggests that this truism is not true." more »


Who Cares Who Ate John Franklin?

Daniel Francis on John Franklin, John Rae and the Globe and Mail's enthusiasm for cannibalism. more »


Magical Thinking

The canoe as a fetish object, a misreading of Canadian history and a symbol of colonial oppression. more »


The Canadian New Age

A review of the Vanguard of the New Age, Gillian McCann's book about the Theosophical Society, which mixes western spiritualism and eastern mysticism. more »


Identity in a Cup

Is it the icons of Canadian pop culture—hockey fights, Tim Hortons coffee, Don Cherry’s haberdashery, Rick Mercer’s rants—that reveal the deepest truths about us? more »


Come to the Cabaret

The Penthouse, the notorious Vancouver night club, shares a history with several of the city's missing women cases. more »



Because of its status as the city’s tallest structure, the World Tower attracted a fair share of attention over the years, but nothing equalled the much-publicized attempt by Harry Gardiner, “The Human Fly." more »


Memoir Of A Time Traveller

A review of Voyage Through the Past Century by Rolf Knight. more »



Huan Tran

It's a Free Country, Isn't It?

During the 1950s the RCMP used a machine to identify federal employees who were homosexuals. The name of this bogus device? The "fruit machine," of course. more »


Warrior Nation

The Great White North gets rebranded and gains some military muscle: goodbye peacenik, hello soldier. more »

Columns 4 Comments

Boob Tube

Richard Stursberg’s memoir of his years in CBC programming raises the question: How did someone with no sympathy for public broadcasting get the job in the first place? more »

Columns 4 Comments


Artray photo, Vancouver Public Library: VPL 84847. Used with permission.


Daniel Francis explores the photographer as Vancouver's most interesting historian. more »



Photo by William Notman

Deviance on Display

Daniel Francis investigates the practice of visiting asylums and penitentiaries as entertainment in nineteenth-century Canada. more »

Columns 1 Comments

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