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C.W. Peterson
Edited by David C. Jones

Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 1989. 227pp, paper, $14.95
ISBN 0-88864-203-2. CIP

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up
Reviewed by Louise Dick.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

The conservative, vehemently anti-socialist editor of Calgary's Farm and Ranch Review published his call to awareness in 1919. Peterson treats a variety of concerns including Senate reform, transportation costs, minimum wage and free trade, which remain dominant today. All are in the context of western Canadian agriculture, which Peterson holds central to the nation.

Jones, history professor at Univer­sity of Calgary's Faculty of Education, has abridged Wake Up, Canada! and added an introductory analysis of Peterson's life and work with photo­graphs. The result is a readable volume, which makes vivid the "dreams and obsessions" of those who made up one segment of Canadian opinion at a time of great social and economic change and deep divisions within Canadian society.

There are inconsistencies and polemic in Peterson's work and distress­ing attitudes toward women, French Ca­nadians and social reformers. His goal was "to kindle an interest in the great questions of the day"; by 1930 he had some 80,000 readers. Today's students can gain from him awareness of the "dreams and obsessions" of western Canada in 1919.

Here is useful source material for consideration of social and economic issues and of regional concerns. There are statements which could start stimulating debates on Peterson's remedies, his attitudes and generaliza­tions: local or national wage scales, direct or indirect taxation, private or government ownership of utilities and transportation. Try this one in senior classes.

Louise Dick, Toronto, Ont.
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