The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Edition for February 10, 2019

Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright.
(Andreas Gora - Pool/Getty Images; Sharon Beckford-Foster; GABRIEL DUVAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Snow defines us as a country — Michael's essay: "There is a kind of social grace released by heavy snowfall. Strangers push the cars of other strangers out of banks. The young volunteer to shovel the walkways of the old. Falling snow ignores boundaries. It is there for all, serenely democratic if you will."

The untold story of Canada's black train porters: At the beginning of the 20th century, being a train porter in Canada was the exclusive domain of black men who laboured long hours for miserable pay. Cecil Foster is a journalist and academic whose book, They Call Me George; The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada, chronicles the story of the "Pullmen" of the Canadian rail lines, and their fight for social justice.

These Canadians find elegance, poetry and joy in mathematics: Meet a group of math lovers who have always found beauty, bliss and brilliance in their favourite subject, mathematics. Members of the Toronto Math Club get together monthly to find creative solutions to vexing problems. Talin Vartanian's documentary about them and about the subject most of us love to hate, is called "Beautiful Solutions."

Anguish, hope and resistance: 40 years since the Iranian Revolution: In 1979, the Iranian Revolution ousted the shah and brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power. Michael talks to the preeminent historian of modern Iran, Ervand Abrahamian, and to Homa Hoodfar of Concordia University, who was held in Tehran's Evin prison for 112 days on charges of "dabbling in feminism." We also hear from an Iranian-Canadian who participated in the revolution as a university student, and Chowra Makaremi, whose mother was a political dissident executed by the Islamic Republic. Our special one-hour broadcast is called "Azadi: Freedom and Revolution in Iran." It's produced by Pauline Holdsworth and Donya Ziaee.

'The Empress of Europe' or 'Frau Nein'? Angela Merkel's complicated legacy: Some see Angela Merkel as the lone guardian of the liberal world order; others, as the unwitting architect of the populist wave now tearing Europe apart. We examine the reign of Germany's about-to-be-former chancellor with Constanze Stelzenmüller, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at the Center on the U.S. and Europe at the Brookings Institution.

Why can't we stop drivers from mowing down pedestrians? Michael's essay on last week's program provoked a stream of comment from listeners. Many agreed that speed limits must be reduced to save lives. Others blame careless pedestrians. We hear from listeners, and from two former guests: Ian Johnston, author of Eliminating Serious Injury and Death from Road Transport: A Crisis of Complacency, and Janette Sadik-Khan, former Transportation Commissioner for New York City and the author of Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.

Your reaction to: Michael's interview with Michael Coren.

Music this week by: Oscar Peterson, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, the Canadian Brass and Julie London.