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Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life [Hardcover]

James Daschuk
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 13 2013 CPS (Book 65)
In arresting, but harrowing prose, James Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics—the politics of ethnocide—played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of aboriginal people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s “National Dream.”
 
It was a dream that came at great expense: the present disparity in heath and economic well-being between First Nations and non-Native populations, and the lingering racism and misunderstanding that permeates the national consciousness to this day.

[A] great work of history...James Daschuk's Clearing the Plains is colossal. This is excavation of an authentically Canadian past from under layers of colonial myth, performed with a scalpel, and illuminated by searing prose." Globe & Mail
 
“Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. Daschuk shows how infectious disease and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest.” Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana

“Required reading for all Canadians.”
Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood
 
“[C]learly written, deeply researched, and properly contextualized history ... Essential reading for everyone interested in the history of indigenous North America.” J. R. McNeill, author of Mosquito Empires

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Review

"Required reading for all Canadians." -Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood "[A] great work of history...James' Daschuk's Clearing the Plains is colossal. This is excavation of an authentically Canadian past from under layers of colonial myth, performed with a scalpel, and illuminated by searing prose." -Globe and Mail "Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. Daschuk shows how infectious diseases and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest." -Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana "[C]learly written, deepy researched, and properly contextualized history...Essential reading for everyone interested in the history of indigenous North America." -J.R. McNeil, author of Mosquito Empires"

Book Description

In arresting, but harrowing prose, James Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics—the politics of ethnocide—played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of aboriginal people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s “National Dream.”
 
It was a dream that came at great expense: the present disparity in heath and economic well-being between First Nations and non-Native populations, and the lingering racism and misunderstanding that permeates the national consciousness to this day.

[A] great work of history...James Daschuk's Clearing the Plains is colossal. This is excavation of an authentically Canadian past from under layers of colonial myth, performed with a scalpel, and illuminated by searing prose." Globe & Mail
 
“Clearing the Plains is a tour de force that dismantles and destroys the view that Canada has a special claim to humanity in its treatment of indigenous peoples. Daschuk shows how infectious disease and state-supported starvation combined to create a creeping, relentless catastrophe that persists to the present day. The prose is gripping, the analysis is incisive, and the narrative is so chilling that it leaves its reader stunned and disturbed. For days after reading it, I was unable to shake a profound sense of sorrow. This is fearless, evidence-driven history at its finest.” Elizabeth A. Fenn, author of Pox Americana

“Required reading for all Canadians.”
Candace Savage, author of A Geography of Blood
 
“[C]learly written, deeply researched, and properly contextualized history ... Essential reading for everyone interested in the history of indigenous North America.” J. R. McNeill, author of Mosquito Empires

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Canadian should read this book. March 2 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An in depth look at the history between the First Nations people and the European settlers of Canada. This book of factual accounts creates a path of understanding as to how we came to be where we are today. It is heart wrenching in some places, but the window of clarity it opens in one's conscience makes it a must read for all of us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearing the Plains Feb. 14 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like it says on the back cover, A must read for all Canadians! Gives you a better understanding of what our First Nations are dealing with.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on a sad topic Aug. 16 2013
By oliver
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While the book is quite technical, and obviously a thesis, i have thoroughly appreciated this book. Very well researched book.
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