CANADA by Linda Ferguson

CANADA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ferguson's history of Canada for Americans is broad in scope and textbookish in its tendency toward generalizing pronouncements. On the plus side, she gives. the French (as opposed to English or American) side of early conflicts and notes Canada's unhealthy post-WW II dependence on the United States; but the second topic especially is handled sweepingly, and Ferguson treats neither as cogently as does Richard Walton in Canada and the United States (1971). Her similar offhand treatment of incidental matters can be confusing (as is the loose use of the term fascism without defining what she means by it) or misleading. (Was the Communist Party really a ""major contributor"" to the modern trade union ""in all of North America""? Did Riopelle ""give the world"" the technique of action painting--a term Ferguson does define, but foolishly? More centrally, is the clash between the Quebecois and the English of Ontario due to ""the land"" or the people? Ferguson makes airy claims for each, three pages apart.) And toward the end, her bland, conservative review of Canadian arts today makes the scene seem as provincial as she says it isn't. Of course, many teachers and students will be more interested in her encyclopedic coverage than in Walton's intelligent introduction.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1979
Publisher: Scribners