CM Archive
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G. W. Taylor.

Victoria, Morriss Publishing, c1982.
Distributed by Sono Nis Press.
231pp, cloth, $15.95.
ISBN 0-919203-22-1.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by John D. Crawford.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

This is a detailed summary of the industrial history of British Columbia. Taylor has previously written two highly-regarded studies of BC industries entitled Timber and Mining. In this present book, rather than making his divisions in the conventional manner into separate industries, he has examined the industrial history of the province through those elements essential to the creation of a broad economic base. Chapter topics include transportation, communications, urban development, and power facilities. The picture that emerges is one in which a great deal of hard, sometimes dangerous work, stimulated by what appears incredible vision, transformed a frontier wilderness into a modern industrial region in about a hundred years. An interesting feature of this development was the important part played by British, particularly Yorkshire-based, and American entrepreneurs. Their counterparts in eastern Canada were presumably too caught up by activities in their own area to be able to participate fully in the development of the West Coast.

The introduction is a remarkably full pr6cis of the subject, and in fourteen pages provides the reader with an outline of the industrial development of the province. The book is replete with detail, arguably to the point where many readers may feel the diet of factual information too rich for their digestion. In the author's defence, it should be suggested that this is necessarily a feature of many economic histories. The writer of political or military histories often has the luxury of being able to concentrate on such features as important battles, elections, legislation, or personalities. Economic history on the other hand often lacks such dramatic focuses and is composed of many people making significant contributions at many places and at different times. The book has a helpful addendum referring the reader to further sources of information. The index, while of good length, does not contain the names of all those who make a brief appearance in the text. When the final topic is complete, Taylor refrains with caution, perhaps with wisdom, from making any predictions about future developments. However, what has been written suggests a continuing saga in which new men will emerge to contribute to the province's industrial future.

Recommended for inclusion in libraries at the secondary level and higher.

John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbs J. H. S., Victoria, BC.
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