Dane Lanken

Dane Lanken is an author and editor living near Alexandria, Ontario. His books include Montreal Movie Palaces: Great Theatres of the Golden Era 1884–1938.

Reviews by Dane Lanken:

November 3, 2018
It’s amazing to learn, from this compelling and comprehensive book, that there are as many Americans claiming French-Canadian ancestry today as there are Canadians, about ten million on each side of the border. Those in Canada are descendants of French colonists who settled in the St. Lawrence Valley (and elsewhere) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Those in the United States are the heirs of nearly a million French-Canadians, mostly from Quebec, who relocated in the period from 1865 to 1930 to work in the shoe factories and paper plants and especially the cotton mills in dozens of New England towns and cities.
November 3, 2017
On March 30, 1827, a dreadful murder occurred in Montreal. Someone slipped the muzzle of a shotgun through the open window of a house on Saint-Joseph Boulevard and blasted the unsuspecting victim in his own parlour. The perpetrator was unknown. The victim, however, was a well-known citizen, Robert Watson, the inspector of flour – His Majesty’s inspector of flour, no less – for the city and district of Montreal.
July 3, 2015
We’re not likely to get a more thorough biography of Calixa Lavallée than Anthems and Minstrel Shows, Brian Christopher Thompson’s huge and meticulous account of the life and times of the composer of “O Canada.” It’s exhaustively researched, even if sometimes the bigger picture is lost in the denseness of facts.
November 6, 2014
Germain returns now with Of Jesuits and Bohemians, an equally charming reminiscence of his slightly older youth spent at the long-gone, Jesuit-run Collège Sainte-Marie on Bleury Street in Montreal, and his joyous discovery of sights and sounds just beyond its walls.
July 17, 2014
In the life of Pierre Jeanniot there are plenty of lessons in how to make something of oneself: how to think clearly, work hard, succeed. Jeanniot came from circumstances that were not desperate per se, but not all that promising, either. Yet as a young technician in Montreal, he invented the “black box” flight recorder and, as president of Air Canada, he instituted computer reservation systems and no-smoking flights. The latter initiative was so successful it’s hard to imagine now that people ever smoked on planes.
August 22, 2013
Modern Montrealers mortified by the current corruption at city hall might be mollified to learn that we've been through all this before. An inquiry in 1909 found favouritism and corruption among city politicians, and another, in the 1950s, blamed crooked cops and councillors for the city's rampant gambling and prostitution.
December 4, 2011
The author and her husband, and sometimes the kids and the in-laws, mostly went to Florida for a few weeks in wintertime. If that sounds thin, perhaps it is. But the “adventures” here are so fondly recalled, and related with such naturalness, that things are nicely thickened up and it’s hard not to cheer the little adventurers on.