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Robert W. Passfield.

Ottawa, Parks Canada, c1982.
Distributed by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
184pp, cloth, $24.95.
ISBN 0-88902-706-4.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Jack Brown.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

This book marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Rideau Canal, a major steamboat waterway consisting of forty-seven large masonry locks and several high dams. The first few pages describe the construction of the canal, the rages of swamp fever, the hostile London government, and engineer By's triumph over a forbidding landscape. Then follow seventy-three maps, drawings, and sketches carefully chosen from various Canadian archives to show how the canal was built, the difficulties that had to be overcome, and the works that were actually erected. The forty-four colour reproductions are of excellent quality and show interesting detail. Each illustration is accompanied by a full page of text to give it meaningful significance. There is a bibliography but no index.

Passfield is a researcher for Parks Canada, and for the past eight years he has worked in the field of the history of technology. He has previously written about related subjects, and two of his books have been issued as government publications. Building the Rideau Canal is the result of thorough research and careful writing. It is a very good reference work on the first twenty years of the canal's history. His efforts clearly show that "By emerges as a man dreadfully wronged, an officer and a gentleman, and a highly competent engineer."

Jack Brown, Kingston C. V. I., Kingston, ON.
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