CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by Craig Brown.
Toronto, ON: Lester Publishing, 1991. Revised and updated.
585pp., paper, $19.95.
ISBN 1-895555-02-7. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Canada-History-Pictorial works.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by John Harkness.

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

In 1987 Lester & Orpen Dennys brought out The Illustrated History of Canada , a wonderfully produced hardback volume, which very quickly, and deservedly, became a best seller. It is now 1992, five years later, and at this crucial time in Canadian life, Lester Publishing, the successor to the sadly defunct original publisher, has reissued The Illustrated History - this time in "recession" paperback format!

Sensibly, the editor has updated the last chapter to bring the story up to the present by including material noting the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord, the constitutional crisis, the Gulf War, and the rise of new political parties. Canadians should read it and learn, as Desmond Morton concludes in the final chapter, that "all Canadians really (need to) learn from their history (is) tolerance; that and a sense of the continuity of life in a great and generous land, cautious people learn from their past; sensible people can face their future. Canadians, on the whole, have been both."

This magnificently illustrated book tells the story of Canada from earliest times. The dramatic narrative is taken up in turn by each of the six Canadian scholars - Ramsay Cook, Desmond Morton, Peter Waite, Arthur Ray, Christopher Moore and Graeme Wynn - who are the co-authors.

This paperback version excludes the forty-eight full-colour plates featured in the original, but the other three hundred iUustrations and maps remain to create this splendid portrait of our nation. The original publication made a superb and acceptable prize for top history students at high school commencements. Its successor will serve equally well. No school library or history department should be without one or both.

John Harkness, Emery Collegiate Institute, North York, ON.
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1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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