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Aun, Karl.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1985. 193pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-7710-0174-6. (Generations: A History of Canada's Peoples). CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Algis Tribinevicius

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

The Political Refugees, written by Dr. Karl Aun, professor emeritus of political science, at Wilfrid Laurier University, is the fourteenth in a series of objective, readable histories of the many ethnic groups contributing to Canada's diverse heritage. It is an easily accessible source for acquiring more systematic knowledge about Estonians in Canada.

The first part of the book gives a brief introduction to Estonia and Estonians in general, both in their homeland and as immigrants adjusting to Canada. The second part deals with Estonians as a distinct ethnic community in Canada, with their own organizations and activities, mainly during the post-war decades following the arrival of the majority of the Estonian immigrants in Canada. The final part summarizes the experiences, perceptions, dynamics, and problems of the group, from both the point of view of the Estonians themselves and that of Canada as a multicultural society. The work is abundantly footnoted and has an index to permit easy access to the information. It contains two black-line maps and sixteen pages of black-and-white photos. The type is easy to read.

It is difficult to compare this book with others on the same subject because there are none. Aun has been as comprehensive as possible and has given a balanced coverage to a number of themes: historical background, settlement patterns, ethnic identity and assimilation, ethnic associations, population trends, religion, values, occupations and social class, the ethnic press, education, the arts, and recreation. The book will provide new glimpses into many aspects of Estonian-Canadian relations and could be used in high school history courses or as a reference in multiculturalism courses.

Algis Tribinevicius, Manitoulin Island, Ont.
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