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HUMANITIES 523 intended to provide study and performance opportunities for its members, the club soon began decades of more public cultural organization, arranging concerts for both Canadian and foreign musicians, and encouraging the careers of promising individuals and musical education more generally. The fact that almost nine hundred such performances have been arranged to date indicates the group's formative role in Toronto musical culture. 'To trace the history of the Women's Musical Club ... over the course of its one hundred years of activity is to reflect on the growth and development of Toronto as a musical centre, and also on the changing status of women, especially within the world of music/ Elliott writes in the opening pages. He has taken especial pains to reconstruct the earlier and more 'private' years of the club, as well as the identities of women whose given names were usually replaced by those of their husbands. Both the club archives and the newspapers and magazines of the day were consulted to reconstruct the concert programs and, as fully as is possible at this distance in time, the details of performance and of audience and critical reaction. More than a club history, this book provides valuable documentation of the evolution of musical tastes throughout the twentieth century. Perhaps because the author's orientation is as a historian of music, Counterpoint to a City is more satisfactory as a record of musical engagements than as a story of a women's organization and of its dynamics and decision-making processes. This does not, however, compromise the careful and immensely detailed reconstruction of the club's contributions to Canadian musical life. It is to be hoped that Elliott's welcome account will inspire more such histories of Canadian women's cultural organizations. (HEATHER MURRAY) Ronald Rudin. Making History in Twentieth-Century Quebec University of Toronto Press. xxii, 294ยท $5s.oo cloth, $21.95 paper Ronald Rudin delivers his subject, the historiography of twentieth-century Quebec, with a gentle dose ofpostmodernism. He sets out to correct Whiggish notions that historical scholarship has grown steadily more scientific or accurate over the course of the century. He finds misguided the exhortation of Universite de Montreal scholar John Dickinson to 'fill in the gaps in our knowledge' to provide an authoritative reconstruction of Quebec's past. 'The battle for objectivity,' Rudin maintains, is 'inevitably lost.' Regard for empirical evidence is always tempered by political bias or other subjective concerns. Rudin, a professor at Concordia who has written about both French and English Quebecers, is himself quite even-handed. He criticizes the too hasty conclusions of separatist-leaning historians such as Michel Brunet and Serge Gagnon as well as those of federalist Fernand Ouellet. The belief that history has not grown more objective allows Rudin to rehabilitate a much-maligned figure, Abbe Lionel Groulx. Groulx was 524 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 French Canada's first full-time Canadian history professor and the founder of La revue d'histoire del'Ameriquefran~ais, its leading historical journal. The good abbe, who from the beginning of the century until his death in 1967 piqued popular interest with a panoply of books, lectures, radio talks, and conferences, has endured much mud-slinging. Gagnon looked upon his nationalistic writings as uncritical hero-worship. Mordecai Richler and Esther Delisle fixated on one small strain ofhis writing to tar him with antiSemitism . Drawing on correspondence and memoirs of Groulx and his colleagues, Rudin shows that Groulx had fairly sophisticated training and continued to adoptnew methodologies and increasingly secular interpretations during his long career. He also encouraged younger historians and showed more tolerance for opponents than some of his critics did. Occasionally Rudin carries his defence too far. No one who has compared Guy Fregault's fine-grained study Le xvnt siecle canadien with Groulx's work will credit Rudin's suggestion that Fregault's research did no more than follow 'in the maitre's footsteps.' But it does seem clear that Groulx's successors had exaggerated notions of their own objectivity. Rudin's other theme is that historical writing was moulded not just by developments within the profession but also 'by forces within Quebec society such as urbanisation...


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pp. 523-525
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