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Edited by Warren Magnusson.

Vancouver, New Star Books, 1986. 423pp, paper, ISBN 0-919573-62-2 (cloth) $12.95,0-919573-63-0 (paper) $5.95. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by John D. Crawford

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

This is a collection of essays written by a variety of contributors. The essays deal with a wide range of economic and social topics. I think it fair to categorize this collection as representing viewpoints considerably to the left of those espoused by the Social Credit governments of the province. Apart from this, they can be seen as progressive, fired by the need to change situations conducive to the preservation of the status quo. One thread which runs through many of the essays is that of broader involvement by members of the community in the decision making of society. The introduction to this book refers to this as an "authentically democratic society," and many proposals are put forward to create the necessary machinery for such a society.

The essays are uniformly interesting and well argued. Thirty-two pages of notes at the end indicate the study and research that has gone into the book. Short biographical notes on the contributors are included; an index was unnecessary. The book is well produced given its low price, with few proof-reading errors.

The thrust of this book combines both philosophical and practical approaches to change. However, the philosophical arguments are of particular importance as they have a uniformity and completeness suggesting the development of a “new” society. The practical suggestions, on the other hand, are less uniform and comprehensive. They address most of the problems of the present social structure in a satisfactory manner but seem to represent a variety of views to some extent.

This book is required reading for students of politics in British Columbia. The contents also have validity in a wider field and are probably relevant to the political dichotomies in the other provinces and at the federal level in Canada, The various essays represent the progressive liberal arguments in the political dialogue, one in which the quality of life takes precedence over the quantity of goods.

John D. Crawford, Blanshard School, Victoria, B.C.
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