Canadian History for Dummies Paperback – Jun 21 2005
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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."
"Pierre Berton with attitude."
"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."
"Will Ferguson is a talent. He writes refreshingly, provocatively and sometimes eloquently."
"Ferguson possesses a crafty eye for detail, not to mention a highly developed understanding of the essential folly in what passes for everyday life."
"[Ferguson] is the quintessential Canadian. He's as Canadian as toques and five percent beer....A Canadian's Canadian."
Praise for Why I Hate Canadians:
"An entirely digestible skewering of our national bedrock."
"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."
"...reverent, incisive, and informative...I give it a resounding five out of five maple leafs."
"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."
"Don't be fooled. Beneath the campy rhetoric lies a serious and impressively researched narrative of the pivotal events in Canadian history."
"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."
"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?"
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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,
Most recent customer reviews
A nice condensed history of Canada. A good start to figure what areas a person might like to learn more about.Published 5 months ago by aaron
Great summary of our history, written in casual, informative style. Passages are highlighted to aid people who have particular interests.Published 9 months ago by Derek Ashton
Should be in every school library, if it isn't already! Good, easy read with little facts that most probably didn't even know!Published 13 months ago by zeruiah
Nice book, it goes very straight to the information that you need, of course not longs explanations, but I really like it.Published 15 months ago by Marilyn Rojas
Don't know yet, this is an Xmas Gift. Same for the World History book.Published 21 months ago by m. keller
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 23 months ago by Norman Lloyd