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HISTORICAL ATLAS OF CANADA: Vol. III, Addressing the Twentieth Century.

Donald Kerr, Deryck W. Holdsworth, and Geoffrey J. Matthews.
Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 1990.
197pp., cloth, $95.00.
ISBN 0-8020-3448-9. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Canada-Historical geography-Maps.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by J.E. Simpson.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

This is, quite simply, a magnificent book. In scope, design, clarity of graphic detail, and the concise authority of its scholarly text, it presents a unique, unparalleled record of a vital period in the growth of Canada, the seven decades between the census years of 1891 and 1961. Its publication follows that of the 1987 volume I, From the Beginning to 1800 ¹, which was the recipient of a number of awards. It would be surprising if volume II does not elicit similar acclaim.

The monumental subject of this volume is divided into two parts. The first, entitled "The Great Transformation," covers the period 1891-1929; the second, "Crisis and Response," deals with the years from 1929 to 1961. Within these sections, such social, economic and political topics as "The Emergence of the Urban System," "Seas and Livelihood in Atlantic Canada" and "New Political Direction" are illuminated in sixty-six double-page spreads of maps, graphs, illustrations and text of compelling fascination.

The focus is by turn national, provincial, regional and local; on every page there is something that invites attention and rewards it. The sheer volume of the information detailed is initially daunting, but like all good references it provides a tantalizing challenge to curiosity. Thirty-three pages of notes supplement the main body of the text.

The identity of the nation has, perhaps, never been so closely examined as it is today. Addressing the Twentieth Century may not clarify the future of that identity, but it certainly helps to locate many of the circumstances which still surround the question.

J.E. Simpson, Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton, AB.

¹ Reviewed vol. XVI/3 May 1988, p.94.

line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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