Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Short History of Canada: Sixth Edition” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
A Short History of Can...
Desmond Morton
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Short History of Canada: Sixth Edition

3.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  110 Ratings  ·  15 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Short History of Canada, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Short History of Canada

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 393)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 10, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 09, 2012 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 31, 2014 N rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 21, 2012 kingshearte rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dave Kramer
Dec 19, 2015 Dave Kramer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I grew up in Michigan and visited Canada regularly. I knew a little of its history, but not that much. After a second Trudeau became Prime Minister, it brought back my memories of his father, and I decided it was time to learn more. This book was a good first start. It's mostly political history, and it sometimes got a little hard to keep all the names straight, but it's a good overall survey from the Europeans' arrival to the early 21st century.
Mar 24, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, canadian
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
Comfortably Numb
Jan 26, 2016 Comfortably Numb rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's all about political mumbo jumbo. I was hoping to read about natives and immigrants etc etc but all I got was election history in old Ontario. If you want to read that, this is your book. But the name of the book is extremely misleading. If it is was named political history of Canada, would have given 3 stars. mind you though I quit reading it after 50 pages.
May 04, 2010 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2012 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 30, 2008 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Wendy MacKnight
I love history, but this was lacking passion And I slogged through. There are stories to be told but this is no storyteller book and the editor should have pushed it back till it sung off the page instead of reading like a laundry list.
Jan 16, 2008 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 11, 2013 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Sean Coleman
Sean Coleman marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Felicia marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Jean-Luc Thomas
Jean-Luc Thomas marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2016
Eric Inigo
Eric Inigo marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Nikki Bond
Nikki Bond marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Jason Bright
Jason Bright rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2016
Bill added it
Jan 16, 2016
Vanita is currently reading it
Jan 11, 2016
Ken Hayes
Ken Hayes marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2016
Toey added it
Jan 09, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Who Killed Canadian History?
  • Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918 Volume 2
  • Marching as to War: Canada's Turbulent Years
  • A Rifleman Went to War
  • John A: The Man Who Made Us (The Life and Times of John A. Macdonald - Volume One: 1815-1867)
  • Lament for a Nation
  • Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918
  • Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont: A Penguin Lives Biography
  • Bastards & Boneheads: Canada's Glorious Leaders, Past and Present
  • Memoirs
  • World War I
  • Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1968-2000
  • The Long Exile
  • The Age of Fighting Sail: The Story of the Naval War of 1812
  • It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of the American West
  • The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea
  • Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir

Share This Book