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J. F. Conway.

Toronto, James Lorimer, c1983.
261pp, paper, $16.95 (cloth), $9.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88862-662-2 (cloth), 0-88862-661-4 (paper) .

Grades 7 and up.
Reviewed by Lois Hird.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

The title may provoke curiosity or draw a passing glance. That depends. The subject is not a new one. But J.F. Con-way handles it a new way. In the introduction, Conway says, "To understand the West, therefore, we must examine the place of the West in Confederation, politically, but more importantly, economically. We must therefore begin at the beginning." Then in a chronological journey, he takes the reader across the Prairie Provinces to British Columbia as he presents a detailed account of well-known historical events. But he weaves the circumstances that led to the Riel Rebellion, the Winnipeg General Strike, and all the organized movements into his discussion, adding both consequences and results. His "examination" concludes with a brief look at the West's contemporary resources, including the mega projects. But not until the last chapter of the book does he indicate that his discussions serve a much wider purpose.

He examines the West as a region of Canada, not an area with long-standing grievances. And his examination of the West is a launching pad for a look at regionalism. He states in the introduction, "The West has never been happy with its lot in Confederation." The events he refers to as "agitations," he believes is the West "challenging the very nature of the political and economic structure of Confederation." But more than a century after the "business deal" (as he calls Confederation) was made, "The West is only one of a number of increasingly fractious regions that constitute the Dominion."

Yes, Conway has added a new dimension to the time-worn subject. He ends by considering how change can accommodate the regions, ending "blindyegionalism." He also discusses what some of those changes could be.

Conway is a western Canadian and teaches sociology at the University of Regina. He has contributed three articles on related topics, such as one on the Populist Party movement that appeared in 1978 in the Canadian Journal of Political Science. This is his first book. One of the Canadian Issues series, it is short, only 242 pages, but offers a thoroughly researched and organized presentation. Written in everyday language, it is an informative presentation for both scholars and the general reader.

Lois Hird, Calgary, AB.
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