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Edited by Michael S. Cross and Gregory S. Kealey.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1983.
(Readings in Canadian Social History, Volume 1).
211pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-7710-2455-X.

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

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

This volume is the first in a series of five titles concerned with the social history of Canada. If the other titles prove to be as exciting and interesting as this one, readers will certainly want to add Volume II, Pre-Industrial Canada, 1760-1849; Volume III, Canada's Age of Industry, 1849-1896; Volume IV, The Consolidation of Capitalism, 1896-1929; and Volume V, Modern Canada, 1930-1980s.

The editors have divided the book into six chapters dealing with an economic overview, the social structures, the working class, violence and protest, social control, and, finally, native peoples. Each chapter is introduced briefly by the editors who provide a selected bibliography for further study and a blurb on the credentials of the author whose article has been selected for publication.

The arrangement of the work makes for easy reading and selection of content. The latter is provided for by a ready-referenced table of contents. There is also a general introduction to the series and an introduction to Volume I. The former essay enlightens the reader about the emergence of the new historical science of social history. One misses the usefulness and precision of an index that would have been of benefit to students researching specific themes. Nevertheless, those teachers planning individualized learning programs will find that the various essays encapsulate the subject matter in a succinct and clear manner.

The editors have by no means selected only non-controversial material. A prime example of stimulating historical research is found in chapter V. Bruce G. Trigger's The Deadly Harvest: Jesuit Missionaries Among The Huron is certain to stimulate the adrenaline during class discussions. Although this reviewer did not check the accuracy of the 120 footnotes in this essay, its contents provided a disturbing awareness of the exploitation of certain Canadian Indian tribes by over-zealous and blindly biased religious orders. Such callous and irresponsible treatment of the aboriginal peoples by the Europeans was a major cause that led to the Indians' demise. Although it is easy to condemn the past with the objectivity that the centuries provide, one wonders when the history books will be re-written to set the truth straight. Trigger and»the editors of Volume I have taken a big step toward the accomplishment of this goal.

The readings contained herein should be of benefit to any serious social science program in Canadian history.

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