An Illustrated History of Quebec: Tradition and Modernity: Book Review

An Illustrated History of Quebec: Tradition and Modernity: Book Review

This book review by Susan Stewart first appeared in the November 2012 issue of Life in Quebec Magazine

An Illustrated History of Quebec: Tradition and Modernity

Peter Gossage and J.C. Little
$35.00 – Oxford University Press

What are the names of the First Nations? What role did they play after the arrival of the French colonists? What part did the Catholic church play in the development of Quebec over the last four centuries? What is meant by the Duplessis era, the Quiet Revolution, Distinct Society, the Oka Crisis?

For anyone wanting to know more about Quebec, a little or even a lot, this book has much to recommend it.

Despite the rather lofty title, and reputation of this academic publishing house, this is an accessible work. Written in a style that allows for easy reading; the footnotes can be ignored by those who don’t need all the details.

The illustrations are many and varied, from layouts of the first settlements to recent caricatures by La Presse’s Serge Chapleau and Montreal Gazette’s Terry Mosher. Their descriptions are often quite detailed and compliment the narration. The topics covered in the chapters are wide-ranging, structured around a central theme with attention to political, economic, social and cultural history; less on the famous people of history and more on historical forces, social classes and ethnic groups.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about the province of Quebec and how we got to this place in history.

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This book is available from all good bookstores, this includes AngloStore, the English bookstore in Quebec City at Place Naviles.

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