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Jackson, Robert J.; Doreen Jackson; and Nicolas Baxter-Moore.

Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, c1986. 778pp, paperbound boards, $29.95, ISBN 0-13-684317-4. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Ted Monkhouse

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

This five part, fourteen chapter tome is probably a textbook for first-year university political science students, but could also serve as a good reference point for high school teachers of history and government. The stress on the political nature of this country ranges over interest groups and lobbying, federal policy making, foreign and defence policy, elections and electoral behaviour, public service and the bureaucracy, legislative politics, political parties, constitutional foundations and order, the dimensions of federalism, inner policy-making circles, the politicization of society, Canada as a nation state, and our political heritage. This vast area of study presents the complexity of Canadian politics and not, as might be expected, a simple description characteristic of so many texts. It defines clearly and well the processes involved in managing this diverse nation, utilizing the past only as it relates to the present and future. It does not deal with provincial and municipal politics except where they impinge federally.

The eighty-three-page appendix preceding the adequate index is "The Consolidation of the Constitution Acts 1867 to 1982," a very helpful at-hand addition. Concluding each chapter is an overview, actually a comment by the authors, which they also do well throughout the text from a reasonably objective position, having assessed the facts.

The format of the book is well designed, with frequent sub-headed divisions within each page or two. Lots of white space, sprinklings of graphs, charts, and political cartoons relieve what could have been an onerous looking book.

Utilizing numerous comparisons to clarify issues for the reader/student, these put into perspective the distinctiveness of Canadian politics for those who look elsewhere in the world for examples worthy of emulation. Recommended for the serious high school student, otherwise, intended for readers/ students beyond secondary school.

Ted Monkhouse, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, Ont.
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