While my young adult books can be easily categorized as Canadian historical fiction for young people, my non-fiction covers a wider range of issues.
As a young man studying sociology, I became very interested in local politics and the political life of local organizations such as unions, community groups, municipal politics and even corporations. These interests led to three books focusing on Hamilton.
Democracy Rising: Politics and Participation in Canada
What are the limits of Canadian democracy and how are they being expanded by a revolution in participatory democracy?
The Brexit vote in Britain and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States illustrate that our system of representative democracy is in deep trouble.
There are signs of political alienation everywhere. Most believe that government is run by a few big interests. Wealthy corporations receive grants and beneficial regulations. The incomes of middle and lower earners have remained stagnant or decreased.
City planning in the GTHA has been mired in political grandstanding for the past decade, The New Urban Agenda offers a plain language solution to the issues plaguing the GTHA.
Politics in the Greater Toronto, Hamilton Area (GTHA) have become increasingly divisive over the past decade, and solutions to the city's problems have become hot-topic issues debated in council and the press, but never finding resolution.The New Urban Agenda is equal parts history, social science, and call to action to solve the major problems facing the GTHA. Issues such as urban and suburban
Far From Home: Canadians in the First World War, co-authored by Bill Freeman and Richard Nielsen
Documentary films took my writing in yet another direction. I was working with Norflicks Productions when its president Dick Nielsen asked me to write a book based on a documentary film series he had produced on Canadians in the First World War.
Far From Home describes both in text and photographs the role played by the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.
War is a grim time for those in the front lines and the people on the home front. By the end of the war Canadians were some of the best troops on the Western Front. But they paid a price with high casualties.
Written in clear compelling prose, Bill Freeman explores the possibilities of a world of lasting peace.
“To eliminate war we have to establish and strengthen the multilateral world. The days of empire are finished and multilateralism is the natural outcome of our economic, political and social development. No single country has the political or military power to impose its imperial will on the peoples or nations of the world. War will not disappear by accident or miraculously wither away. It will end when we eliminate poverty, discrimination and domination and build new organizations and practices that support political rights, sustainable economic development and the toleration of minorities.”
1005: Political Life in a Local Union and Their Town: The Mafia, the Media and the Party Machine are case studies. Both books were very successful and controversial. Their Town created a storm of interest in Hamilton, and 1005 is still read by those interested in union politics and democracy.
Glory Days is the text of a play I wrote for Theatre Aquarius that describes the famous 1946 Stelco strike, in Hamilton, that shaped the Canadian trade union movement. The play was performed by Aquarius in 1989 and was remounted in 2006. The book also contains an extensive essay about the importance and impact of the strike.
Glory Days has been performed in play competitions by students of several high schools.
The appeal of the play is that it is filled with action and conflict. It portrays an era right after the Second World War when workers engaged in a struggle for their rights.
Copies of Glory Days are available from the author, Bill Freeman. You can contact him at
As I became a professional writer and gave up academic life, my interests shifted. My publisher, James Lorimer, asked me to write Casa Loma, Toronto’s Fairy Tale Castle and its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt. This book is handsomely illustrated by the photographs of Vincenzo Pietropaolo. Casa Loma won the Award of Merit, Heritage Toronto, 1999.
After that book was published I persuaded Jim Lorimer to bring out A Magical Place: Toronto Island and its People, with photographs by David Laurence. This book won the Certificate of Commendation, Heritage Toronto, 2000
A documentary film I was working on describing Hamilton was transformed into a book called Hamilton: A People’s History. Again, this is an illustrated history with colour photos and other illustrations. The book quickly sold out and has been reprinted.
All of these books are available as a special order from your local bookstore and online bookstores like Amazon and Kobo.