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Dempsey, Hugh A.

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1986. 225pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-88833-208-4. CIP

Grades 8 and up
Reviewed by Iyvan Michalchyshyn

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

This book by Hugh Dempsey, the associate director of the Glenbow Museum, reveals yet another part of Western Canadian history. Dempsey has written other books about Western Canada, the most recent being one on Big Bear. The motivation for this project comes in large part from James Gladstone's many years of work and involvement with Canada's Indian people. Dempsey not only had the resources of the Glenbow Museum, but Gladstone was his father-in-law, and as such he had access to more than mere paper documentation. This very close and personal relationship comes through in the writing.

James Gladstone came to the attention of Canadians in 1958 with his appointment to the Senate by John Diefenbaker. This book covers his life and in particular emphasizes his years of influence. We are given a thorough explanation of Gladstone's ideas and concerns and of his efforts to better the lives of the Indian people. The treatment of his life is straightforward and the book offers many intimate views of the man in success and failure. The title of the book does indeed say much about the man.

The writing is not overly technical or scholarly and could be easily understood by most readers from late junior high and up. Included in the volume are photographs that complement the text well. I would have liked to have read more about the criticisms of Gladstone, but this was not Dempsey's task. At a time when Canadians and especially native groups are looking for strong characters in their history. James Gladstone fills the bill well.

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