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CANADA AMONG NATIONS: A WORLD OF CONFLICT, 1987.

Edited by Maureen Appel Molot and Brian W. Tomlin, Toronto. James Lorimer, 1988. 244pp, paper. ISBN 1-55028-046-5 (cloth) $24.95, 1-55028-045-7 (paper) $14.95.

Post-secondary
Reviewed by Charles Ottosen

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January


This book should be interesting. I was hoping and expecting it to be useful and interesting. But...

Canada Among Nations is about Canada in international affairs during 1987. The book examines the major international events of the year and Canada's reaction to them as well as Canada's major international events (free trade, peacekeeping, etc.).

The book has twelve authors and editors, nearly all of whom are political scientists at various universities. Half of these people are connected to the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. The different chapters are grouped under broad headings of international conflicts and security, world economy, international development and Canada-U.S. relations. Topics discussed range from the Iran-Iraq War and the Mulroney government's white paper on defence to the Canada-U.S. free-trade deal.

The problem with the book is in the writing and this shows up in two ways. First of all, much of the book is spent describing the international events (such as the conflict in Central America], and the readerís left wondering about where Canada fits into the picture. That eventually comes, of course, but the problem is in getting there.

The second problem, which is the main one, is the level of writing. The writing is scholarly and slow reading if you are not familiar with the terminology. It reads like political scientists writing to other political scientists. There are numerous graphs and charts, some of which are hard to understand.

The book is unbiased and covers all the major international events. A chronology and chapter references are included. The book could be useful to some high school students but it is aimed primarily at the university crowd.

No index.


Charles Ottosen, Airdrie Public Library, Airdrie, Alta.
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