CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Peter Neary

Montreal, McGill-Queen's University Press, 1988. 488pp, cloth, $32.95
ISBN 0-7735-0668-3. CIP

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up
Reviewed by Catherine R. Cox.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

This weighty book deals with the history of Newfoundland in the tumultuous period from 1929 to 1949, through the Great Depression, World War II and the culmination of Confederation. The author's major concern is the role of the Commission of Government appointed in 1934 - its policies and progress towards its demise when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.

Important decisions about the position of Newfoundland were made in the United Kingdom and in the United States during the period, and Newfoundland found itself a pawn on the world stage. In choosing to join Canada in 1949, Newfoundland once again achieved responsible government. Though both Canada and Britain were concerned with their own interests in the negotiations, no evidence exists to show that there was any conspiracy to railroad Newfoundland out of any chance at independence. Canada provided an option Britain was not willing to supply, and Newfoundlanders made their own choice.

An economic and political history, this scholarly work is not particularly attractive to the casual reader. Included are some black-and-white photographs of important people of the era. There are copious notes, a thorough bibliography, an index and an informative table of contents. This book will find its place on the shelves of university libraries.

Catherine R. Cox, Moncton High School, Moncton, N.B.
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