CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

John C. Weaver.

Toronto, James Lorimer, c1982.
224pp, cloth, $24.95.
ISBN 0-88862-593-6.

Grades 8 and up.
Reviewed by R. Tomlinson.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.

John Weaver is a history professor at McMaster University who has written an authoritative history of the City of Hamilton. It was founded as a frontier courthouse town in 1816 and is known today as Canada's "Steel City." As a late addition to the towns of Ancaster and Dundas, Weaver describes the geographic and economic determinants that enabled Hamilton to surpass its immediate rivals. Using its magnificent natural harbour at the head of the lake, Scottish and American merchants supplied the needs of the rural and urban areas of the Grand River Valley as far west as London. In the 1830s the main markets were in stoves and threshing machines. These two items are credited with giving the impetus for the development of iron technology that would give Hamilton its identity by the 1890s.

The book is meant to be a general history and is not limited to industrial development. It covers all the bases, from the cultural and economic influences of the Scottish capitalists to the important part the workers played in the Canadian labour movement. The anecdotes will hold the reader's attention, but the book will have limited use by most students since the vocabulary is at an adult level. It will be the more than one hundred illustrations that will make it appealing to most age levels.

For anyone interested in urban history, particularly the City of Hamilton, this is an excellent book, extensively researched, well organized, written, and clearly illustrated.

R. Tomlinson, Riddell P. S., Hamilton, ON.
line indexes


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


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works