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Barry M. Gough.

Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, c1984.
287pp, cloth, $27.95.
ISBN 0-7748-0175-1.

Grades 11 and up.

Reviewed by John D. Crawford.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

The nineteenth century witnessed a tremendous expansion of western civilization throughout the world. This expansion involved the suppression of many indigenous peoples. It sometimes took the form of wars, such as those against the Zulus and the Maoris, and occasionally provided names of protagonists that would be long remembered, such as Sitting Bull or Geronimo, but in many cases took place in circumstances that were not to prove memorable. Gunboat Frontier is an account of the events that saw the use of units of the Royal Navy to place the Northwest Coast Indians under the authority of first the British Colonial Office and from 1871, Canada.

This fine book has a number of praiseworthy features. In the first place, it provides the wealth of detail necessary for an adequate background knowledge of the subject. Professor Gough applies this detail to support objective analyses of the many aspects of what was a very complex series of events. These features combined with an attractive writing style convey the flavour of the period to the reader. This sense of period enables the actions described in the text to be seen as part of a general pattern in which physical privation and cruelty was more acceptable than at the present time.

The text is supported by some forty pages of content notes, a short bibliography, and a full index. The book is designed for the serious student rather than the casual reader, although it contains much of general interest. It can be recommended for libraries at the senior secondary school and post-secondary institution levels.

John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbs E. S., Victoria, BC.
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