Saturday, February 24, 2018

New book looks at Canadian history in rich detail

October 19, 2016 by Calista Pearson, contributing writer

Derek Hayes’ Canada: An Illustrated History (Douglas & McIntyre) is a thorough and entertaining glimpse into Canada’s past and what led us to today; this 296-page behemoth is great for those who are interested in our country’s history.

The book starts with the discovery of North America by Aboriginal peoples and ends with Justin Trudeau becoming Canada’s prime minister in 2015. The book describes the making of the country, with historical photographs, maps, drawings, and paintings.

Not only does this book cover the large events that made Canada, it also covers lesser-talked-about events such as the history of the postal service and a bridge in Quebec City that collapsed in 1907 and again in 1916, killing a total of 88 people. These smaller stories come when appropriate, and are interesting, but can distract from the main story.

Although extremely fascinating, I found Canada: An Illustrated History difficult to get through due to its immense size and how hard all the information was for me to swallow. The facts and history are a little too rich for my taste, but I can see how someone who’s interested in Canada’s history would be thoroughly entertained by this wealth of condensed information; it’s definitely not a book to be read in one or two sittings.

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