Books · Mining · Reviews · The Raids

Sudbury’s union war – book review by Ron Verzuh

To read the full review, click here

News reporter turned novelist Mick Lowe has produced the first of a promised trilogy of labour history novels set in Northern Ontario that might be closer to truth than to fiction.

As a long-time reporter in the union town of Sudbury, Ont., the Nebraska-born Lowe got close to the local labour movement and the union that represented thousands of mine workers at the giant nickel mines in the region.

That relationship and careful readings of a book co-written by once local union president Mike Solski that Lowe calls his bible, provided a mother lode of information from which to create his main character Jake McCool, a young miner.

Ron Verzuh
Canadian writer, historian, photographer and videographer

For more, visit Ron’s blog at


2 thoughts on “Sudbury’s union war – book review by Ron Verzuh

  1. Greetings, Mick. I worked with Mike Solski and Jack Smaller as editor and Board member of publisher (Steel Rail), all on a volunteer basis, on the side of a full-time job, before I went on to run Steel Rail. I am so happy to read on this page that you called it your bible. At the time, it was reviewed in Canada by Labour/Le Travail — by Laura Sefton McDowell, Larry Sefton’s daughter, who as I recall did not declare her bias, and otherwise pretty much ignored in the general trade. (Though it was well-reviewed by John Salter, a former member and civil rights organizer in the comparable academic labour journal in the U.S.) I’m glad people are now finding it useful, in the tradition of people’s histories (as I see in Hard Lessons,1993). Right now I’ve just begun your book on Claire Culhane, and have requested the public library here order The Raids — but plan to order it myself from Perfect Books independent bookstore here. I keep an eye on home through Northern Life, so know that you are living at Pioneer Manor, and also that it’s under some threat. Congratulations on continuing to write and to fight the good fight. I am catching up on reading big-time here as I am also ill, and am enjoying your book on Claire Culhane, which rings so many familiar bells. Just thought I’d say “Hi.” — Terry Binnersley, Ottawa

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