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A Concise History of Canada

$29.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Concise Histories

  • Date Published: May 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521744430

$ 29.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Margaret Conrad's history of Canada begins with a challenge to its readers. What is Canada? What makes up this diverse, complex, and often contested nation-state? What was its founding moment? And who are its people? Drawing on her many years of experience as a scholar, writer, and teacher of Canadian history, Conrad offers astute answers to these difficult questions. Beginning in Canada's deep past with the arrival of its Aboriginal peoples, she traces its history through the conquest by Europeans, the American Revolutionary War, and the industrialization of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to its prosperous present. As a social historian, Conrad emphasizes the peoples' history: the relationships between Aboriginal and settler, the French and the English, the Catholic and Protestant, and the rich and poor. She writes of the impact of disease, how women fared in the early colonies, and of the social transformations that took place after the Second World War as Canada began to assert itself as an independent nation. It is this grounded approach which drives the narrative and makes for compelling reading. In the last chapter, the author explains the social, economic, and political upheavals that have transformed the nation over the last three decades. Despite its successes and its popularity as a destination for immigrants from across the world, Canada remains a curiously reluctant player on the international stage. This intelligent, concise, and lucid book explains just why that is.

    • An engaging history of Canada by one of its most eminent historians
    • The people of Canada, their forebears as well as the most recent arrivals, are at the heart of the narrative which favours social and cultural history
    • For students and those with an interest in North America and its deep past
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This impressive history of Canada tells a rich and surprisingly new story in a relatively brief space. It is constructed on an awareness of the past half-century of historical writing and is especially convincing in its approach to Aboriginal communities, French-speaking households, and Atlantic Canada. I recommend it wholeheartedly." -Gerald Friesen, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba

    "Conrad's book has energy and narrative drive and never seems didactic or heavy-handed. It has what Stephen Pyne calls the hallmark of all good non-fiction: "voice and vision." Instead of the literary conceits or clunky structural devices others may have relied on, Conrad trusts her own voice and the history of Canada itself to tell an inclusive yet coherent national story." -Jeffrey L. McNairn, Queen's University

    "Margaret Conrad’s elegant, erudite and sophisticated study of Canada’s history is both dramatic in scale and detailed in exposition. Throughout, Conrad traces a clear narrative trajectory that juxtaposes Canada’s internal social, political and cultural dynamics and its external influences, especially those emanating from the nation on the other side of Niagara Falls, to emphasize both the challenges and triumphs that the nation has faced in constructing and sustaining a distinctive, coherent and inclusive identity in the face of internal dissent, global unrest and economic uncertainty." -Susan-Mary Grant, Professor of American History, Newcastle University

    "Recommended." -Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521744430
    • length: 346 pages
    • dimensions: 213 x 137 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 54 b/w illus. 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: a cautious country
    1. Since time immemorial
    2. Natives and newcomers, 1000–1661
    3. New France, 1661–1763
    4. A revolutionary age, 1763–1821
    5. Transatlantic communities, 1815–49
    6. Coming together, 1850–85
    7. Making progress, 1885–1914
    8. Hanging on, 1914–45
    9. Liberalism triumphant, 1945–84
    10. Interesting times, 1984–2010.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Canada
    • History of Canada
    • North American Environmental History
  • Author

    Margaret Conrad, University of New Brunswick
    Margaret Conrad is Professor Emerita at the University of New Brunswick, Canada and has published widely in the fields of Canadian and women's history. Her publications include Atlantic Canada: A History, with James K. Hiller (2010), History of the Canadian Peoples, with Alvin Finkel (2009), No Place Like Home: The Diaries and Letters of Nova Scotia Women, with Toni Laidlaw and Donna Smyth (1988), and George Nowlan: Maritime Conservative in National Politics (1986). A founding member of the Editorial Board of Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal, she was also instrumental in the founding of the Planter Studies Centre at Acadia University, where she was a member of the history department from 1969 to 2002. She held the Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Studies at the University of New Brunswick (2002–9) and Nancy's Chair at Mount Saint Vincent University (1996–8). An Officer of the Order of Canada since 2004, she is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

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