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René Durocher, Paul-André Linteau and Jean-Claude Robert.

Toronto, James Lorimer, c1983.
602pp, paper, $26.95 (cloth), $18.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88862-605-3 (cloth), 0-88862-604-5 (paper).

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

This work, originally published in French (1979) under the title, Histoire du Québec contemporain, is Volume I of a two-volume series. The period covered is from Confederation to just prior to the Great Depression.

As the authors explain in the preface, one of their primary objectives is to put into the hands of lay readers a concise overview of the history of Quebec. This they have done. The present volume is in no way intended to replace more exhaustive and detailed accounts, but, rather to offer a convenient synthesis on the subject. A unique feature employed by the authors was to divide their subject-matter into themes rather than to treat it in a chronological manner. There are two sub-periods: 1867-1896 and 1896-1929. The major themes discussed in these sections are: economic, social, political, cultural, and ideological. Such an approach gives the reader a genuine feel and awareness of the variety of influences that have had an impact in the development of the province.

Perhaps the key word that best describes the authors' approach is transformation. Going from a rural to an industrial society has had a profound effect on Quebec. The reader is constantly reminded of this kind of dynamic change and its effect on the people and government.

There are almost five pages devoted to an outline of the contents of the book. Maps, tables and historical black-and-white photographs are generously sprinkled throughout the work so as to enhance the matter under discussion. For those who want to review primary sources, the authors have conveniently affixed two bibliographies: a general bibliography listing the research tools and general works, and chapter bibliographies listing references for each chapter. These two bibliographies comprise twenty-six pages. Illustration credits and an index complete the volume.

For both the student and the teacher, this work will be a valuable tool for providing a solid base of understanding of the dynamic and historic character of Quebec.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H. S., Chomedey, QC.
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