CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Balam, Jars.

Toronto. Oxford University Press. c1984. 152pp. cloth. $29.95, ISBN 0-91-540472-6. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Iyvan Michalchyshyn

Volume 13 Number 3
1985 May

The approaching centenary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada has prompted the publication of this coffee-table history. The author intends it to be "an up-to-date synthesis of research," and while its 152 pages give a passable accounting of Ukrainian life in Canada, there are oversimplifications, inconsistencies, and omissions in it.

The introduction, the strongest part of the book, offers a compressed overview of the trials and tribulations of Ukrainians in Canada, especially the various political and religious issues. From this follows a simple historical account by region.

Photographs are used extensively throughout the book, but unfortunately many captions could be much stronger, and the photos could be more representative. The author has intended the pictures to tell their own story while the print tells another. This is not as successful as may have been desired. A few maps also could have been useful.

The book is a blending of political, organizational, and social history intended for leisure reading. This approach is fine, but the chapters are not given even treatment. At times, the writing is irregular, and the reader must cover great distances in a few paragraphs.

As an academic book. Salt and Braided Bread is too superficial and other materials such as Heritage in Transition (McClelland, 1982) edited by M.R. Lupul should be consulted.

It does succeed in the genre of book that, upon being seen and read, does create a cursory understanding of an involved topic. In short, it is of limited usefulness for reference but can be interesting recreational reading.

Iyvan Michalchyshyn, Gordon Bell H.S., Winnipeg, Man.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works