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Edited by M.J. Dear. J.J. Drake, and L.G. Reeds. Toronto. University of Toronto Press, 1987. 308pp, paper. ISBN 0-8020-2563-2 (cloth) $35.00. 0-8020-6582-1 (paper) $15.95. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Susan E. Fowler

Volume 16 Number 5
1988 September

Steel City is a collection of nineteen essays dealing with various aspects of the past, present and future of the city of Hamilton. The contributors are all geographers associated with McMaster University in Hamilton. The essays are grouped in three sections. Part one describes the physical environment of Hamilton, with chapters focusing on the land forms, climate, soils, vegetation and hydrology of the region.

The essays in part two deal with the built environment. The development of Hamilton from its beginnings in the late eighteenth century to its mid-twentieth century position as the "Pittsburgh of Canada" is described. Emphasis is placed on the social and ethnic diversity of the city's population.

The final series of essays focuses on the functioning of the Hamilton region today. Issues dealt with Include the loss of good agricultural land to urban growth, energy consumption, and the changing competitive position of Hamilton's steel industry.

The book contains numerous maps, charts, graphs and tables, as well as some interesting photographs. The essays vary in readability but seem most suited to university level readers. I found this to be a most informative description of a very interesting Canadian city.

Susan E. Fowler, Centennial Secondary School, Bellville, Ont.
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