Canada: The Foundations of its Future | Stephen Leacock

In Canada: The Foundations of its Future, Leacock wrote an informative and entertaining tale of the history of Canada. He began the account before humans walked the continent and ended at World War II.

This book was published during WWII, partially as propaganda to evoke patriotic pride in our nation. The final chapter contains some wildly wrong predictions such as the need for one superpower to rule the European continent following the war. If you keep the context of its publication in mind, the book is mildly entertaining as well as informative.

It was difficult to stomach Leacock’s inherent disdain toward the “Indians” which lived here before the European colonists arrived. Here’s the sort of  thing I’m referring to: “There could have been many compensations and more civility [from the surveyors dividing the North-West]. A cigar goes a long way, even with an Indian.”

The book stands out because of the high production value. The pages are printed in two colours, with light brown footnotes in the margin beside their relevant references. The binding is sewn well, and the covers are cloth bound with a beautiful crest of the Dominion of Canada in full colour. My edition (that I picked up second hand somewhere) came in a slip-case to protect the work.

If you can still find a copy somewhere, it’s well worth picking up.

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