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Canadian History for D...
Will Ferguson
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Canadian History for Dummies

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  270 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
A wild ride through Canadian history, fully revised and updated!This new edition of "Canadian History For Dummies" takes readers on a thrilling ride through Canadian history, from indigenous native cultures and early French and British settlements through Paul Martin's shaky minority government. This timely update features all the latest, up-to-the-minute findings in histo ...more
ebook, 528 pages
Published October 15th 2012 by For Dummies (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 718)
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Sep 02, 2013 Abbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This enormously entertaining (and just enormous) softback in the "For Dummies" series was a real Hoot!! It was my first of that series and, heck, if that's the way all these things are written, then sign me up for a half-dozen or so more! And if the sly humor of Ferguson is to blame (grin) then I'll gladly read anything he's written too. His beautifully anarchic sensibilities coincide nicely with my own.

While most of my grandparents came to Boston from Canada in the late 1890s and early 1900s,
Sep 24, 2009 Vickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I savored it. Mr Ferguson writes with humor and rare perception. He brings the history of an amazingly diverse nation together and makes it all so very interesting. I found this book by happenstance in the library and as I was planning an extended trip through the west of Canada, I decided to read some history. It may be my favorite book of the year.
Aug 21, 2007 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Consider me an American who loves anything having to do with Canada. This is a great starter book for anyone (American, Canadian, or whatever) interested in learning a bit about Canadian history. Much of what's in here is very eye-opening. It definitely helped answer some other previously-unanswered questions I had about why Canada is the way that it is today.
Jun 20, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an American Canadian junkie, and a Will Fergusson junkie, this book was top knotch. Fun, quick-witted, and a quick read to boot! If you have ever wondered about the Canadian side of North American history, this book has a fabulous side-by-side comparison with the U.S. of A. Warning: we are total jerks!
Michael Dorosh
Fails from the perspective of emphasizing the importance of military history. Written in a style conducive to imparting information to newcomers to the field, it unfortunately concentrates far too much emphasis on the wrong areas. I'm speaking specifically of the Second World War chapter; Canada played a vital role in three major operations in NW Europe - Normandy, the Scheldt and the Rhineland. Normandy is mentioned in passing and the latter two are not mentioned at all.

The focus of the chapter
Diogo Jesus
Loved to get to know the history of Canada in a light way. Myths, alternatives, hypothesis, connections - nice
Oct 02, 2014 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good, but...

It's a very good read, and I got a very good overview of the subject. But I was surprised by the amount of author opinion, and as another reviewer on Amazon noted, more maps would be helpful.
Oct 06, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most boring books I have ever read. I don't know if Canadian history is that extremely dull or if the book is at fault, but it was a painful read. There is a large focus on trying to show up the USA, which typically comes across as childish and ineffective. Also, the book insists that at least 5 different eras were when "Canada became its own country," but then it repeatedly disproves that assertion. (Until the 1982 date, when Canada was finally given the authority to amend it ...more
Sherry (sethurner)
While doing family history research I discovered that we have ties to Canada on both my mother and father's sides of the family, and I realized I knew nothing about the history of our neighbor to the north. This overview fit my needs perfectly - organized clearly and written in an entertaining way. Most interesting to me is the different spin put on various wars and trade agreements. My edition was for 2000, so it's a bit out of date, and some web site recommendations no longer worked, but the b ...more
Richard Millsap
Jul 10, 2014 Richard Millsap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice read.
Jul 01, 2014 Froztwolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to Canadian history and politics for a newcomer like myself.

While a large and thick book, it is very easy to read and strikes a great balance between amount of detail, and keeping things in perspective. Looks like it will be a great reference book as well.

If there is a downside, it is only that the book was written almost 10 years ago, and so does not cover any events that happened after 2005.
Jun 25, 2013 Philip marked it as aborted  ·  review of another edition
I started this because I thought, based on the synopsis, it would be a funny, probably satirical, look at Canadian history. It is not! At least for the first section it's a very dry rather boring telling of Canadian history with a few errors. I was looking for humour. This one's not for me.
I'm trying to read Canadian authors, especially in the mystery genre, so at least I've found one of the few whose works I won't read any more.
Jul 02, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. This text covers the few hundred years of Canada's history, from the arrival of the French to the sponsorship scandal. The prose is clear and sometimes funny.

The author is usually balanced and makes special mentions when other historians would disagree. However, his balancing act sometimes break down, especially towards the end of the book -- when relating more modern events.
Kelly Kelly
I like point form and books as brief as possible when they are Non-Fiction and this book did it for me. I knew the majority of our Canadian History in general but I learned a few little tid-bits here and there. For instance I learned the proper names for tribal clans, countries, groups of people, etc.
Digestible in that nothing is too long winded. Further along in the book, the author seems a bit dismissive at times of Quebecois and Aboriginal issues. Nothing too radical presented, but neither is it just a PG version. I liked it, but didn't love it.
Daniel Kukwa
As far from the title as you can get -- this is first rate, concise history with a witty edge. Leaving aside its black-and-white print, I would still have included more visual material...the uniformity of the text can get rather monotonous at times...
Dec 30, 2009 B. marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Of course I will be reading this. I love "for dummies" books and whenever there is a topic or subject that interests me, I see if there is a "for dummies" book on it. It is a great book to introduce you to the subject matter.
Troy Parfitt
Get the Penguin History of Canada by Robert Bothwell. It's infinitely better: very readable, and Bothwell doesn't talk about himself every 30 pages or so. Bothwell's book served as the primary source for this one.
Alana Joyal
Jan 27, 2015 Alana Joyal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only 20 pages and loving it. I didn't know Canadian history was do interesting and funny. Learning so much about aboriginals, they were fascinating, I can't believe we didn't learn this in school.
Nov 04, 2012 P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain-work, canadian
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a sense of Canadian history without the mental drudgery that can be involved in in-depth books or dreadfully taught classes.
Todd Downey
Dec 15, 2013 Todd Downey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Will Ferguson. This book piqued my interest in Canadian history and lead me to read other great Canadian history writers like Pierre Berton. Thanks!
Jun 29, 2011 Irene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, history, 2011
My first-ever "Dummies" book. A great refresher and analysis of Canadian history and recent events!
May 13, 2016 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was a great quick update for anyone wanting to brush up on their Canadian History.
Will Ferguson does a phenomenal job. Great book, well done, and highly informative.
Mar 16, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these "for Dummies" books. Great overview and easy to understand.
Wendalynn Donnan
Apr 01, 2013 Wendalynn Donnan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: can-con
Another Canadian must-have. Will Ferguson is brilliant.
Added for records. Used for research project.

2005 edition
total history in a brief but not oversimplistic fashion
Samantha Skuce
Samantha Skuce marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2016
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Will Ferguson (born William Stener Ferguson) is a Canadian writer and novelist who is best known for his humorous observations on Canadian history and culture. His success as a writer can be attributed to an innate ability to view Canada much the same way an outsider would, as described in his debut book, the ironically named Why I Hate Canadians. Ferguson talks about this in a recent CBC radio in ...more
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