New book by PNLHA songsters

Rika Ruebsaat %26 Jon Bartlett MED

Rika Ruebsaat and Jon Bartlett perform at Princeton traditional music festival.

In the winter of 1932–33 Mounties charged into picket lines in Princeton, B.C., the Ku Klux Klan issued threats, and legendary labor organizer Arthur “Slim” Evans was bundled onto the next train out of town.

That’s the historical backdrop of a new book called Soviet Princeton by PNLHA regulars Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat. They were most recently seen and heard at our Seattle conference on May 1-3, 2015, where they led us in songs by Wobbly Joe Hill.

The book promises to take us back to the days when “Princeton’s few thousand citizens saw much of the human drama of the Great Depression play out right in their own lives over the course of just a few months.”

NSB cover tempSoviet Princeton adds a fascinating sidebar to Canadian left-labor history in that two years after the Princeton strike Evans led the 1935 On to Ottawa Trek to protest Depression-era homelessness and deplorable conditions in the relief camps of the day.

The book will be available in October 2015. You can order your copy at NewStar Books at or 604-738-9429. Cost is $18 USD and $19 CDN for the 160-page volume with 12 black and white illustrations.