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McCullough, A.B.

Toronto, Dundurn Press, c1984. 323pp, cloth, $29.95, ISBN 0-919670-86-5. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by John Crawford

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

While this book describes some interesting facets of Canadian economic history, it has as its particular aim an explanation of the great assortment of currencies used at various times in Canada in the course of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. In this respect it succeeds admirably. The book has numerous strengths. It contains a wealth of detail, essential for this subject, and this detail is presented in a well-organized manner. The facts are supported by an extensive collection of footnotes, and a bibliography suggests the wide range of material consulted. Ample illustrations, tables, and appendices explain certain important features of the text. With all these scholarly features, the book remains straightforward and eminently readable.

The picture presented is one common to many features of economic history: local to national, variety to uniformity, and risk to security. The advantages of scale emerge as impelling factors. The organization of the contents into geographical areas succeeds in outlining both the differences and the similarities in the evolution of currencies. The book has as a prologue an introduction with definitions of many of the terms used. Armed with these definitions the reader is better able to understand the forces at work. However, the amount of detail and the particular vocabulary necessary suggests that the book would be more appropriate for senior students.

John Crawford, Frank Hobbs E.S., Victoria, B.C.
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