Up a Creek, With a Paddle is an intimate and often humorous memoir by the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen, who holds the distinction of being the best-selling living sociologist today. Rivers are good metaphors for life, and paddling for living. In this little book, Loewen skillfully makes these connections without sermonizing, resulting in nuggets of wisdom about how to live, how to act meaningfully, and perhaps how to die. Loewen also returns to his life’s work and gently addresses the origins of racism and inequality, the theory of history, and the ties between the two. But mostly, as in his life, he finds rueful humor in every canoeing debacle—and he has had many!
“A memoir like no other. I laughed at his delightful stories of canoeing fiascos that repeatedly answered his question, "What could possibly go wrong?" In quieter intervals, I learned from his reflections on history, ethics, and race relations. About death he is funny but unflinching. His spirit will live on, though, in the ways that history is told. This book's energy can sustain and inspire those who follow.”
—Peggy McIntosh, author of White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
“He is the high school history teacher we all should have had.”
—Carol Kammen, author of On Doing Local History
Up a Creek, with a Paddle: Tales of Canoeing and Life
PM Press 2020