Canada: An Illustrated History

Derek Hayes. Douglas & McIntyre (PGW/Perseus, U.S. dist.; Harbour, Canadian dist.), $36.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-77162-120-5
Those looking for a reference guide to major events in Canadian history will appreciate this beautifully illustrated and designed book. Hayes (Historical Atlas of Canada) updates his book, originally published in 2008, with more illustrations, as well as sections on the government of Stephen Harper and the 2015 election of Justin Trudeau. The book begins by describing the indigenous peoples inhabiting the land before European colonization and then focuses on major touchstones along Canada’s path to nationhood, including the British/French conflict, the fur trade, and Confederation. Hayes favors a “guns and treaties” approach to history that emphasizes military and political developments such as the 1760 British acquisition of New France and the Canadian experience during World War I. The book only fleetingly delves into social history. In a glaring omission, for example, Hayes does not mention Indian Residential Schools, which separated 150,000 children from their families and are now seen as part of an attempted cultural genocide against First Nations peoples. Readers will have to look elsewhere for more critical and analytical views of Canadian history, but Hayes provides a useful overview that brings together hundreds of stunning photographs, paintings, and historical documents in a worthy addition to Canadian history collections. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
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