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The New Penguin History of Canada
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The New Penguin History of Canada

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Robert Bothwell is a professor of history and director of the International Relations Programme at the University of Toronto.
Paperback, 500 pages
Published April 24th 2008 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 2006)
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Paul Nelson
I read this hoping to receive a good overview of Canadian history, which this book does very well up until about World War II. It's a fairly enjoyable read (the author is fond of dry humor), but it's not for historical amateurs.
nothing to do with penguins (ongoing joke -- my children repeatedly asked me why I was reading about penguins in Canada). Excellent overview, good place to start...
Elle Druskin
I truly enjoy history books and I wanted to know more about Canada's history. This is really a very good comprehensive book. It may bog down in areas such as tariff and governmental policy that may make it difficult for some readers but it is worth persevering. It gave me an excellent overall understanding of the issues and people who shaped Canada. I knew a fair amount about the colonial history but not much after early 19th century and this helped to fill that gap. It enlightened me in a deepe ...more
May 23, 2011 Alexis added it
Shelves: 2011
I only read the last section of this for some research that I'm doing, but I would highly recommend this book.
Roger Burk
I picked this up as prep for a Canada vacation. It's a smooth and easy read, though long. It covers the history of Canada up to 2007 in a straightforward, matter-of-fact fashion. Lots of interesting tidbits that were new to this Yank. Did you know that the Gulf of St. Lawrence used to abound in walruses, until they were hunted to exinction around 1800? That the Iroquois made war on the Hurons, defeating and dispersing them in the 17th century? That a second wave of Americans (after the post-Revo ...more
Yasser Maniram
Preface: Read this book to supplement material during my University Canadian History course.

You get exactly what the cover states, a history of Canada. Well researched and organized into 17 chapters each with their own sub-chapters. It has all the content of a Canadian history textbook, with the personality of an enthusiastic university lecturer.
The only thing that got me through this book was the fact that I went on a long trip for which I had to pack very light, and this was the only book I took with me. I found it poorly organized and confusing, jumping back and forth in time without warning, sometimes over the course of a paragraph. It was also strikingly white-centric, with the native populations reduced to occasional parenthetical statements (literally in at least one instance). I often had to look up events in other places to get ...more
Bothwell gives a good general overview of the big events of Canadian history, but the book suffers from too much assumption of knowledge of Canadian culture. No events ever feel weightier than any others, and I had trouble telling what were the big events of Canadian history. The book also exhibits the tendency of one-volume histories of grossly overcovering the modern period--something like 130 pages on the years 1960-2000.

Still, the book has whetted my appetite for further histories of Canada,
Jen Sparks
This well-written book provided a good background on the history of Canada. I learned much more than I remember learning in school on this subject and found some surprising tidbits along the way. The only topic that I would've liked to see covered more fully was how the First Nation groups and the Canadian government came to agree upon the various land claim settlements over the past few decades. Outside of that omission I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in knowing ...more
Good overview but there were very important aspects of Canadian history lightly acknowledged and the events and people highlighted were invariably from Ontario or Quebec. Worth reading to get the jest of things but the book is missing a portrayal of the personalities and unique events that make history come to life.
I wasn't ready to dig into any aspects of Canadian history too deeply - I just wanted a nice gloss so I can have a frame of reference the next time I accompany Coach Russell to her homeland. This book provided just such a history.

For school, I only had to read Chp. 13-16. I learned a bit about Canada throughout those few chapters and I think the author did a great job in trying to make it sound interesting ;) as boring as it may have seemed
Good general overview of Canadian history. Nothing in-depth but you can expect much more from a single volume book. Well written and easy to read.
great for getting more details on all the Canadian history I've forgotten.
Well written, but a bit boring at times.
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Robert Bothwell is a professor of Canadian history, and the foremost scholar on Canadian Cold War participation, as well as a frequently published author.
More about Robert Bothwell...
A Travellers History of Canada Canada and Quebec: One Country, Two Histories Canada Since 1945 Alliance and Illusion: Canada and the World, 1945-1984 History of Canada Since 1867

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