________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 19 . . . . May 21, 1999

cover Concise Historical Atlas of Canada.

William G. Dean, Conrad E. Heidenreich, Thomas F. McIlwraith & John Warkentin (Editors). Geoffrey J. Matthews & Byron Moldofsky (Cartographers).
Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press Inc., 1998.
180 pp., cloth, $85.00.
ISBN 0-8020-4203-1.

Subject Heading:
Canada-Historical geography-Maps.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
Review by Alexander Gregor.

**** /4

inside picture The Concise Historical Atlas of Canada is a one volume condensation of a three-volume series published in 1987, 1990 and 1993.The original series was the first of its kind and proved to be a national best seller - a status obviously awaiting this sequel. The volume was prepared by a committee of geographers, and, in this case, a committee proved be the proper vehicle for ensuring balance and to comprehensiveness. The atlas comprises 67 plates from the original series, along with a myriad of graphs and illustrations to expand upon the information presented in cartographical form. Each of the plates is dedicated to a single subject or theme, with supporting bibliographical information provided at the back of the book.

      The ambit of the atlas extends from prehistoric (Norse) times to the 1960's and is organized in three broad sections: (i) "National Perspectives", which examines issues from the perspective of the country as a whole: exploration, boundaries, settlement, transportation, resources, agriculture, environment, etc.; (ii) "Defining Episodes", which illustrate turning points in the nation's history: wars, immigration, etc.; and (iii) "Regional Patterns", which, as the name suggests, examine events and circumstances of particular significance to one part of the country. Each of these is prefaced by a very useful introduction which puts the collection of individual studies into context.

      The maps, themselves, are an combination of award-winning hand-drawn and computer-generated pieces of cartographical art. The accompanying charts and graphs are presented in a wide variety of forms and provide an excellent and engrossing laboratory for the general reader in learning to deal with the interpretation of graphical presentations. The clear presentation and written explanations make the atlas easily accessible to the general reader. At the senior school level (and, with appropriate guidance, below that), it could be used with great effect in individual research projects and classroom discussion and interpretation. For most purposes, the amount of information provided would suffice, but the opportunity is there for students to return to the original volumes for yet further detail if that is desired.

      In summary, this is an invaluable addition to the senior school and postsecondary teaching and study repertoire.

Highly Recommended.

Alexander D. Gregor is the Director of the Centre for Higher Education at the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364