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Canadian History for Dummies [Paperback]

Will Ferguson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 21 2005 For Dummies
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 historical and archeological research. In his trademark irreverent style, Will Ferguson celebrates Canada's double-gold in hockey at the 2002 Olympics, investigates Jean Chrétien's decision not to participate in the war in Iraq, and dissects the recent sponsorship scandal.

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Canadian History for Dummies + World History For Dummies + U.S. History For Dummies
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From Amazon

We always knew Canadian history could be fun, and Will Ferguson proves it in his second edition of Canadian History for Dummies. Approachable in the extreme, this text is fun because of Ferguson's undisputed gift for unearthing our national quirkiness and for illuminating those parts of our heritage that make us a unique people. At first the academic reader might register surprise at the choice of author for the Canadian history text in this wildly popular series, but this is truly a match made in editorial heaven. With his arrestingly titled Bastards and Boneheads and Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw, Ferguson has made a strong claim to being the light-hearted guardian of our national popular culture, and this book is true to form, with anecdotes, asides, bullets, and a fast-paced style this book makes Canadian history more user-friendly than ever before. Behind it all, however, is serious and comprehensive Canadian history. Ferguson acknowledges the help of Don Smith--one of our truly great academic historians and textbook authors--and his expertise is evident throughout. But, as headings like "Western alienation or that #%@!* Trudeau" (382) and "Pemmican--Delicious and Nutritious" show, this is Ferguson's book, featuring his unparalleled gift at striking just the right note --William Newbigging


Praise for Will Ferguson:

"Eminently readable and entertaining."
--Vancouver Province

"Pierre Berton with attitude."
--Montreal Gazette

"If Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and P.J. O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell) ever had an extraterrestrial Satanic love-child, it would probably write like Will Ferguson. That is, it would be observant, attitudinal, occasionally offensive and funny."
--Los Angeles Times

"The Brash Young Writer this country has needed for a long time."
--Hamilton Spectator

"Will Ferguson is a talent. He writes refreshingly, provocatively and sometimes eloquently."
--Ottawa Citizen

"Ferguson possesses a crafty eye for detail, not to mention a highly developed understanding of the essential folly in what passes for everyday life."
--Edmonton Journal

"[Ferguson] is the quintessential Canadian. He's as Canadian as toques and five percent beer....A Canadian's Canadian."
--January Magazine

Praise for Why I Hate Canadians:

"An entirely digestible skewering of our national bedrock."
--Toronto Star

"Funny and abrasive...Ferguson does not try to please everyone, a rather un-Canadian approach, and that's just one of the reasons his book is so much fun to read."
--Halifax Daily News

"A wickedly funny book!"
--Fredericton Daily Gleaner

"Aggressively patriotic...Ferguson show his love for Canada the way an older brother shows his love for a younger sibling—with a wedgie."
--Charlottetown Guardian

"...reverent, incisive, and informative...I give it a resounding five out of five maple leafs."
--Kinston Whig-Standard

"A smooth read...Ferguson is both insightful and hilarious."
--Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

Praise for Bastards & Boneheads: Canada's Glorious Leaders Past and Present:

"Ferguson...[gives us] an utterly hilarious tour of our historical contradictions."
--Calgary Straight

"Don't be fooled. Beneath the campy rhetoric lies a serious and impressively researched narrative of the pivotal events in Canadian history."
--National Post

"Ferguson is Canada's myth-buster extraordinaire....His writing is concise, easily digestible, humourous, dramatic, frank, and sometimes shocking."
---New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal

"Lively, knowledgeable, opinionated, disrespectful, debatable and immensely readable."
--Montreal gazette

"A rip-snorting, rib-tickling, white water ride through this country's rich history of outrageous political scandals."
--See Magazine (Edmonton)

"Who says Canadian history isn't fun?"
--Ottawa Citizen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A relatively light, but fun, treatment of history March 6 2001
Will Ferguson's best known work in Canada is called WHY I HATE CANADIANS -- a title only a Canadian could come up with, since no one else could muster so strong a feeling about the country (by the way, I'm Canadian too). This work is a worthy follow-up, a light, readable, but useful reference, traipsing through Canadian history. Ferguson is more interested in political questions than cultural ones, but it sort of goes with the territory. He does a reasonably good job of making a subject I always found dry and uninvolving (back in my high-school days) very engaging and readable, and, to his credit, gives lots of attention to Native issues (and refrains from too many potshots at Quebec separatists). Ferguson also gives abundant links to cool sites on the internet, to supplement his research. This is, needless to say, very much a populist work, but, well, it IS in the FOR DUMMIES SERIES... I like it. I teach English in Japan, and am using it as a reference, in case I need to quickly explain what an inukshuk is or so forth...
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
In the Fifties, Marilyn Monroe (supposedly) said she thought Canada was "way up in the mountains somewhere," and I can't say my ignorance was much lighter until I visited sophisticated and efficient Toronto, avant Montreal and tragically beautiful Vancouver--and grabbed Will Ferguson's CANADIAN HISTORY FOR DUMMIES to try to make sense of the land that, during my childhood, was condescendingly referred to as "Our friendly neighbor to the North."
Okay, it seems that every time I'm up yonder some key component of the economy is on strike, and the taxes are practically Scandinavian, but somehow it hangs together. Survey after survey show that Canadians enjoy the highest standard of life in the world. Not the most SUV's per capita, necessarily, but taking into account along with the hard goods such intangibles as access to health care, reliable public transit, equitable justice and so on, they're tops. Try the Canadian gov't website (ocanada) and you'll see a wealth of things the Canadian government does for (not to) its citizens--truly, this is not propaganda for the rest of the world so much as Canada's putting her best foot forward without resorting to brag.
Will Ferguson--a born iconoclast if ever I read one--explains what a long strange road it's been. While Canada's past certainly contains mean and genocidal acts against its Native citizens, the image of the French *voyageur* working with the Native is a seminal myth not unlike our cowboy. Why Canada's government came about by evolution, not revolution. (Can the historian find that One Definitive Date at which Canada cut all apron strings with Mother England? Not bloody likely.) How Canada's parliamentary legacy (as opposed to the American winner-take-all electoral system) shaped national politics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading Jan. 12 2010
By Tom Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWER
As a hopeful future immigrant to Canada I thought I had better learn something of its history and culture.

The book provides a great overview of the history, and gives a few hints at culture along the way. It is written in a fun, but not silly, way and is very easy to navigate and read.

It is by no means an authoritative history, but it covers the full history of the country to sufficient depth that you have a basic understanding. And certainly in my case it has enticed me into to the fascinating story of an amazing country.

My challenge now is to find two or three more history books to further my explorations.

Essential reading. Five stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canadian History for dummies May 25 2009
This book was so good we ordered a second copy to give to our son. Our household is always on the look out for readable, useful history books and this one hit the mark. Thanks from Neepawa, Manitoba
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start Oct. 12 2011
I know I'm not the only foreigner to have moved to Canada with little idea of this country's history (you don't get taught much about General Wolfe or the American Invasion of Canada in 1812 in British or American schools!) so this book has been the absolute perfect introduction to fill the huge hole of knowledge. It's very well presented, easy and entertaining to read, and covers all the most important issues of distant and more recent history that you really do need to know to understand your new native country. I highly recommend it for all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exwellwnt Sept. 13 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The simplicity of language makes it good reading. it is not a boring summery of the
past, am right now reading it for the second time.. to me would be a good book for
the education system, encouraging students to read,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Canadian History Refresher - Oct. 9 2009
I found this book very easy to read. It has refreshed my memory of Canadian History. It was well researched and well written. Unfortunately, in school I learned it because it was a 'required subject' so it didn't 'stay with me.' I ahve been out of school for sixty years and had forgotten a lot. It is excellent.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gillis1 Nov. 29 2001
By A Customer
Why didn't Nova Scotia become the 14th American colony?
This difficult to find book is an excellent introduction to Canadian history; perfect for the American who is looking for the highlights of Canada's past, and, as for the above question, it provides wonderful information about America's past, too.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading about my country's history
A great read! Lots of excellent information without getting bogged down in uber detail. It sparked my curiosity on many topics and I looked further into those.
Published 16 days ago by Norman Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I an currently reading this book, so far it is interesting and has my attention.
Published 1 month ago by Nora Lande
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent easy to read and full of great facts
Should be a part of every high school curriculum. It's a shame that I have to learn about my country from this book. Excellent easy to read and full of great facts.
Published 2 months ago by Mikhail Tolstoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for newcomers
Just arrived Canada as immigrant, and decided to read this to know the country. A must read for anyone who comes here.
Published 2 months ago by Rodrigo Pereira Teixeira
4.0 out of 5 stars Canadian History
I never was a history buff, but feel I should know the history of my own country just a bit better than I do. This was the book for just that level of knowledge and understanding. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ronald E. Dines
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great overview!
This book was easy to read and informative. I recommend it to anyone who wants to brush up on their Canadian History.
Published 18 months ago by Leslie Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
The item came in perfect condition.

Thank you so much.

Now I wont be a dummy any more with Canadian History.
Published 20 months ago by Stephen Brown
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