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A Short History of Can...
 
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Desmond Morton
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A Short History of Canada: Sixth Edition

3.04 of 5 stars 3.04  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Most of us know bits and pieces of our history but would like to be more sure of how it all fits together. The trick is to find a history that is so absorbing you will want to read it from beginning to end. With this book, Desmond Morton, one of Canada’s most noted and highly respected historians, shows how the choices we can make at the dawn of the 21st century have been...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published November 19th 2008 by McClelland & Stewart (first published December 31st 1983)
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1) ''Close to half the population was female. Less than a third of women were married, and 6 per cent were widows (double the percentage of widowers). Two-thirds of women were classified as ''children or unmarried.'' The vast majority of them worked hard, but only 11,422 female servants and a handful of laundresses and seamstresses emerge from the occupational census. Women had no share in public life and, legally, no more status than their husbands or fathers permitted. Their official status wa...more
kingshearte
I figure it's good to brush up on history every so often, particularly of one's own country, and this book seemed like a good choice. The blurb and all the endorsements were unanimous in their declarations that this guy writes an engaging history, in a compelling narrative style that makes you want to keep reading.

They all lied.

I've read compelling history. This wasn't it, and I got so tired of the choppy, not remotely compelling style that I've decided to ditch it well before my usual halfway c...more
John
My heavens, what a slog. If the short history is this dull, I'd hate to read the long history! Ho Ho!
Actually, this book did not need to be so boring. This should really be called a POLITICAL history of Canada, because that is all it is. Endless history of Ottawa and parliamentary elections and which party had the majority and how they managed to placate the Quebecois and on and on and on. There is nothing in here at all about cultural history. Not one thing. Nothing. Nothing about food or drink...more
Mary
A history of an entire country is challenging. There are lots of things that have to be covered, but if it is to be a "short" history the author can't spend too much time on any one of them. I think Morton did a good job finding a balance here. His writing was clear and engaging and I was able to follow most of the events easily enough. The constant elections and shifts in government power in both the country and the various provinces made my head spin despite Morton's fine efforts.
I found seve...more
Jonathan
While I certainly got the sense that Canadian history is an interesting business, this book leapt almost immediately into the somewhat convoluted realms of Canuckian political wranglings with alacrity. Sadly my attention didn't follow suit. Said mire continued for pretty much the entire last two thirds of the text - other things were happening, as far as I could tell, but it all seemed to be at the edges of an Ottawa-skewed lens. Also, as one reviewer mentioned, no mention of hockey, the arts, o...more
Will
Other reviewers have already made the point: this is almost exclusively a political, economic, and military history of Canada. No mentions of hockey, and almost nothing about Canada's cultural or social changes.

This is the typical Canadian history you probably learned in school. Not many new insights to be found here, I'm afraid.

Readable, sure. Short, not exactly. I refuse to believe that Canadian history can't be made more interesting than this book would make it seem.
Brendan
This book gets a bit of a bad rep, probably because most people read it thinking that it's about a short history of Canada when in fact it's really a short political history of Canada. However it does a good job at covering those details from the early origins of Canada to the fall of Paul Martin in 2006. It's a relatively easy read and I have to say I learned a lot as I didn't have a great understanding of Canadian history despite being an avid fan of history.
Brett Gamble
Even though I read this book cover to cover I found it far more descriptive of Canadian politics than a 'short history of Canada'. I was disappointed but it did improve my political understanding and as an immigrant (from Australia) I certainly learned a few things. Very difficult to read, very 'choppy', and lots of the book required you to have an understanding and prior knowledge of Canadian politics.
David
Precisely what it purports to be: a one-volume survey of Canadian history from French settlement along the St. Lawrence to Harper's election in January, 2006. Though skewed towards political history, the book serves as a useful introduction for those generally unfamiliar with Canada's historical development - a group that includes, let's be honest, more or less all of us.
Sara
I wanted to like this, but it just isn't holding my interest. It's not a bad history, but my to-read pile is too big to force myself through a book that feels like a chore.
Gary
This book is more of a Political History of Canada as compared to broad history of the country. Regardless it inspired me to read more Canadian history.
Ian
Jul 24, 2007 Ian is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I lost this book in Peru but it was making out to be sweet read.
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