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Bittersweet Sands: 24 Days in Fort McMurray and Documentaries

Rick Ranson and Walter Hildebrandt Book Bundle 4 - Bittersweet Sands and Documentaries | 320 Pages December, 2017 2017 Holiday Book Bundles

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About Bittersweet Sands

Rick Ranson has collected stories from all over North America, from the DEW Line and the drill ships of Working North to the raging waters of the Mississippi in Paddling South. Now, join this engaging raconteur as he ventures to one of Canada’s most talked-about locations: Fort McMurray, home of the oilsands.

In Bittersweet Sands, Rick Ranson recounts a twenty-four day shift at an oilsands operation undergoing a shutdown, giving us a glimpse at a world most of us only know from the evening news. Along the way, he encounters a group of engaging roughnecks, including a husband and wife welding crew, a petty fascist safety inspector, and the tough-as-nails secretary that keeps them all in line.

"Beyond simply finding a throughline through a collection of anecdotes, Bittersweet Sands succeeds in offering a compelling portrait of that unusual community, one that rarely factors into discussions of the oilsands: hard men drawn together by work, getting rich, but isolated from family and friends and left without much else aside from each other to help pass the time." ~ Paul Blinov, Vue Weekly

About Documentaries

Taking its inspiration from director Werner Herzog’s concept of “ecstatic truth” and recalling D.W. Griffith’s silent film classic Intolerance, poet/historian Walter Hildebrandt’s ambitious new book of poems is a searing denunciation of the exploitation of the poor and powerless at the hands of the wealthy. In forceful, unadorned language, Hildebrandt draws a clear line from historical outrages such as the Dakota Wars of the nineteenth century and the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike to injustices in present-day England, Cuba, and Canada. Documentaries urges readers to confront stories that are hiding in plain sight, but which are in danger of being lost when their truth goes unspoken.

“Hildebrandt’s docu-poems are a breath of fresh air, the products of a tough-minded, boots-on-the-ground engagement with history.” ~ Charles Noble, author of The Kindness Colder Than the Elements and Sally O