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Publisher's Summary

Canada is not one nation, but three: English Canada, Quebec, and First Nations. Yet as a country Canada is very successful, in part because it maintains national diversity through bilingualism, multiculturalism, and federalism. Alongside this contemporary openness Canada also has its own history to contend with; with a legacy of broken treaties and residential schools for its Indigenous peoples, making reconciliation between Canada and First Nations an ongoing journey, not a destination.

Drawing on history, politics, and literature, this very short introduction starts at the end of the last ice age, when the melting of the ice sheets opened the northern half of North America to Indigenous peoples, and covers up to today's anthropogenic climate change, and Canada's climate politics. Donald Wright emphasizes Canada's complexity and diversity as well as its different identities and its commitment to rights, and explores its historical relationship to Great Britain, and its ongoing relationship with the United States. Finally, he examines Canada's northern realities and its northern identities.

©2020 Donald Wright (P)2020 Tantor

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  • Thucydides
  • 14-02-2021

Revisionist history, Left wing, Narrow, Banal

if you like your history unabashedly politicized on the political Left and don't like your closed mind challenged, this book is for you.

It leaves out a serious engagement with all sides of Canadian identity, and it does not engage with the full fruitful tensions that makes for the best history writing. The "neo-liberals" are the enemy, nationalism becomes "nationalisms," there is complete silence on pro-life perspectives of the abortion debate. I could go on. So much is left out. Banal.

This will quickly become a dated book on account of the author's mind being entirely enslaved to the merely ephemeral opinions of the narrow and uneducated prejudices of his own time. It is not good history; not a great book. don't waste your time.

If you can find nothing better, then hold your nose and use this book to glean some chronological facts of Canadian history. It could provide a sophisticated reader a glimpse into the cramped narrowness of the shadows of a closed-mind. But you get this from any newspaper or merely popular blog. It is Left-wing political revisionist "history," quickly dated pulp.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-12-2020

A view of Canada and its history

A good starting point for a busy person to find out more of the country. The author shows a strong preference for views popular in Western academic circles in the opinions he expresses on issues. For example, it is irritating to find no counter arguments on what is in effect abortion on demand; and one gains the impression that there is an assumption that employees are the downtrodden ones in any labour dispute. A good deal of time is devoted to minority rights and the loss is a lack of insight into what is the daily life of the majority.
I recommend the book as a short introduction but don’t be surprised if you get a bit irritated at times.
The reading tends to a bit of of a monotone at times, though it’s good it is by a Canadian, and it could have been done with more of a pause between sections.

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