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Thompson, John Herd and Alien Seager.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1985.438pp, cloth, $39.95, ISBN 0-7710-8564-8. (Canadian Centenary series) CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Keith Wilson

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

This is the latest addition to The Canadian Centenary series, the intent of which is to present "a comprehensive history of the peoples and lands which form the Canadian nation." Each volume dovetails into the others but remains complete in itself. True to the purpose of the series, Thompson and Seager present a broad view of Canadian history, social and cultural as well as political, from the ascent to power of Mackenzie King to the outbreak of the Second World War. Their coverage is comprehensive, balanced, and eminently readable. Through masterly use of quotation they bring to life not only the major characters of the times, such as the platitudinous Mackenzie King, and Bennett, deemed by Labour leader Arthur Evans as "not fit to be the premier of Hottenton village," but also a host of less of known personalities such as Thornton and Beatty.

Incidents and places are also brought to life by the authors' unerring instinct for vivid descriptions. Rouyn, for example, cited as an example of a northern mining community, was a rough, brawling town, with "two houses out of every three . . . occupied by bootleggers."

This is an excellent book which deserves to be widely read. It is especially unfortunate then that it is overpriced at $39.95. It is to be hoped that a paperback edition will soon become available. Highly recommended for college and senior high school libraries and for the general reader.

Keith Wilson, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.
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