CM Archive
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Edited by Dave DeBrou and Bill Waiser
Saskatoon (Sask.), Fifth House Publishers, 1992. 702pp, paper, $29.95
ISBN 0-920079-94-6. CIP

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up

Reviewed by John Harkness.

Volume 20 Number 6
1992 November

Documenting Canada contains a brand new collection of some 212 documents covering the whole period of Canadian history from 1867, beginning naturally with the British North America Act of that year, and ending with present Justice Minister Kim Campbell's 1991 gun control act. These documents relate to all angles of the Canadian experience, social, cultural and political. They are "Canadian" in that they represent the most significant federal documents of the period. Forty-one are "contemporary," i.e., from 1970. As few document books have appeared since that date, this emphasis will be welcomed by many historians, lawyers, journalists, teachers and students.

The authors of the book, two professors from the University of Saskatchewan, provide neat, succinct introductory notes to each of the documents. There is also a cross-referenced index that allows the reader to identify related documents in the book.

The book is an interesting production. It is a paperback. It is only 2 cm thick. It weighs very little. Hurrah, you say! But wait! To have been able to create the above, the publisher has printed on extremely fine paper, accompanied by quite small print. Some students and librarians may find these qualities stumbling blocks to longevity. "Dog-earedness" will likely occur rapidly and pages will, I suspect, tear too easily. Students will find that the popular process of "highlight­ing" extracts will be difficult as the colour bleeds right through the thin page.

If these hazards do not prove to be too insurmountable, this book should prove a valuable tool for all manner of Canadians interested in the first 125 years of Canada's history.

John Harkness teaches history at Emery Collegiate Institute in North York, Ontario.
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