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Edited by John Filion

Toronto, Global Press, 1990. 725pp, paper, $14.95
ISBN 0-7715-3975-4

Grades 5 and up/Ages 10 and up
Reviewed by P.J. Hammel.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

The character of The Canadian World Almanac and Book of Facts would seem, on the basis of examination of the 1991 edition, to be well established. Com­pared to The World Almanac and Book of Facts, the Canadian edition is somewhat identical, somewhat similar and some­what unique.

The identical parts are those that deal with the world as a whole. The follow­ing sections, although they may appear in different parts of the works, are identical in content and format: "His­torical Anniversaries," "Historical Figures," "News Events of the Year" (chronology), "World Facts" and "World History." The sections entitled "Nations of the World" are virtually identical; the Canadian edition includes the United States while World edition includes Canada.

When suggesting that the Canadian edition is somewhat similar to the World edition, I refer primarily to the emphasis on national information. The Canadian version obviously emphasizes Canadian information and statistics, while the World version emphasizes United States and international informa­tion and statistics. For example, the "Provinces of Canada" section in the Canadian edition is complemented by the "States of the Union" in the World Almanac, and Canadian cities are replaced by cities of the U.S.

Where the Canadian presents an entire section on Canada ("Constitu­tion," "Government," "Elections," "Prime Ministers," "Geography," "Population," etc.) early in the work, similar information for the U.S. is found scattered throughout the other work. Although both editions include a colour section consisting of illustrations of flags and maps, the Canadian version includes different maps; the early versions were identical in this respect.

Unique to the Canadian version are such topics as Canadian social trends, Canadian official languages, women in Canada, crime and justice in Canada, social security in Canada, and Canada's economy. In addition to including the U.S. in its "Nations of the World" section, the Canadian version includes a separate section of U.S. statistics.

The sports section illustrates all degrees of similarity. Information about U.S. professional and some world sports is identical. Although both include a world sports personalities section, the Canadian edition also includes a Canadian sports personalities section. Information about the Canadian Football League, Canada's triple crown of horse racing and much of the hockey information is unique to the Canadian edition.

Writing in this same publication in 1988, I suggested that The Canadian World Almanac and Book of Facts needed to be supplemented by The World Almanac and Book of Facts at the high school level. I no longer hold that view. In my library I would settle for the Canadian edition for its North American orientation and Whitaker’s Almanac for its European orientation.

P.J. Hammel, University of Saskatch­ewan, Saskatoon, Sask.
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