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552 LETTERS lN CANADA 1997 member of the prosecution team of the International Military Tribnnal for the Far East. E. Stuart McDougall, a Quebec judge, was named to the international bench, sat through the lengthy hearing, and participated in the judgment. McDougall drew public attention when he objected to the French prosecutor, Robert Oneto, addressing the court in his mother tongue. The Soviet daily Pravda later complained that McDougall's attitude revealed the persecution of French speakers within Canada. Brode's study is well written and thoroughly researched. It deserves attention not only from Canadians .interested in this part of their historybut also from international specialists, for whom it is a significant contribution to the literature on the law of war crimes prosecutions. Georges Clemenceau once said that 'military justice is to justice what military music is to music.' Certainly, as Brode's story indicates, the 'accidental judgments' in a few cases were hardly the finest hour for Canadian law. But imperfect as they may have been, the real failing was that there weren't enough of them. Too many of the 'casual slaughters' went unptmished and remain SO to this day. (WILLIAM A. SCHABAS) Elspeth Cameron and Janice Dickin, editors. Great Dames University of Toronto Press. ix, 340. $19.95 Great Dames is a many-faceted, multivocal work in which Cameron and Dickin's chief purpose is to redress the imbalance of history by rescuing rmsung female heroes from oblivion. To this end they invite thirteen scholars to present lives unlikely to be celebrated in full-length biographies. Since obscure lives lack documentation, the collection offers a range of technical methods for retrieving them. Great Dames also stands as a companion piece to No Previous Experience: A Memoir ofLove and Change, Cameron's account ofher flight from marriage into the arms of Dickin. It was assembled as the events described in the memoir were taking place, acting both as a catalyst for and a product of the union. The twin themes that emerge from both books are marriage and the empowering nature of female relationships. Cameron's personal transformation is paralleled by a professional switch from canonizing the lives of male writers to immortalizing female subjects. Accordingly, her own contribution to Great Dames is an acconnt of Gwethalyn Graham, the winner of two Governor-General's awards, whose reputation as a novelist is obliterated by the larger figure of Hugh MacLennan, the subject of Cameron's first biography. Dickin also champions a woman overshadowed by a man. Henrietta Banting was declared not 'doable' as a subject by the biographer of Sir Frederick Banting. Dickin, however, shows that the rmtimely death of Sir Frederick allowed Henrietta to pursue her own medical career. HUMANITIES 553 The lives collected here fall into five groups (the editors classify them differently) -European immigrants, criminals, creative artists, scientists, and those who perpetuate the stories ofminority women. The juxtaposition of these narratives automatically sets up a dialogue about the content and methodology, one piece by implication commenting on or responding to another. For instance, Carolyn Strange writes of prison inmates rmable to speak for themselves and doubly victimized by the production of stories not of their own making. Aritha Van Herk, in an antiphonal response, draws on her novelistic skills to create a portrait of a woman hanged for shooting a policeman. Her 'Driving towards Death,' the most compelling piece in the book, is a miniature version of Atwood's project in Alias Grace. Sally Cole, a professor of anthropology at Concordia University, describes Ruth Landes, an anthropologist with a New York Jewish backgronnd who preserved the stories of Ojibwa Maggie Wilson. In a very different triangular configuration, Afua Cooper effaces herself as interviewer . She presents an unedited conversation with the co-founders of Sister Vision, a press formed to bring books by black women and women of colour to the public. Besides the dialoguebetween the individual essays, the groupings reach outwards to the reader with numerous questions. What does it mean, for instance, that three women who earn degrees in medicine and physics live with women while a fourth woman, equally capable of being a scientist, marries and becomes a birdwatcher? Above alt do the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 552-553
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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