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238 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 I myself wanted more information on the Nlha7kaprnx themselves. Christophers worries about, while ultimately disagreeing with, the view of some writers that historical analysis of the 'other' is a form of renewed domination. Having argued against this claim, Christophers ironicallymay not go far enough in his consideration of Nlha7khipmx motivations and actions. Read against the grain, Christophers's own evidence suggests that the decentring of the white missionary which has been a key feature of recent writings about the history of Christianity in Africa may also be appropriate here. What does it mean that Nlha7kaprnx leaders ran the surveillance systems instituted by Goodl that there were large numbers of local agents in the villages, that Good did not speak the language fluently for yearsand depended on translators, and that the Nlha7kapmx seemingly called in Anglicans when Catholics proved unsatisfactory, only to dismiss the Anglicans in turn? Christophers makes all this clear but is so concerned to examine missions as primarily a form of colonial dialectic that he does not pose the obvious question of whether Booth was actually somewhat peripheral to the history of Christianity in the Fraser Canyon. What, furthermore, were the power dynamics and divisions within Nlha7kapmx society itself, here portrayed in a rather monolithic fashion? Arguably there are two further books struggling to emerge from this one. One is a biography of Good, with all his quirks and fascinating . resemblance to such colonial mavericks as that other difficult Anglican advocate of polygamy and native land rights, Bishop Colenso of Natal. The other is a fuller account of Nlha7kapmx deployment of Christianity and reactions to colonialism, in which, ironically, the individual white missionary might recede quite far into the distance. The larger narrative of empire which Christophers has given us instead is nonetheless compelling in its own right. And although I wanted more on the nineteenth-century evangelical context, from which the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel does not seem to have been as immune as it imagined, it is particularly refreshing to have a book which takes religiOUS ideas seriously. It is a testimony to the interest of this short book that one mostly wishes it were longer. (ELIZABETH ELBOURNE) Peter Baskerville and Eric W. Sager. Unwilling Idlers: The Urban Unemployed and Their Families in Late Victorian Canada University of Toronto Press. xiv, 294ยท $55.00, $24.95 Although often assumed to be a recent phenomenon, Peter Baskerville and Eric Sager persuasively illustrate that 'Unemployment has a long history in Canada.1 Unwilling Idlers explores the world of the working class and particularly the experiences of those men and women who were forced out of work in six Canadian cities - Halifax, Montreal, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Victoria - at the end of the nineteenth century. It was HUMANITIES 239 during this first stage of industrialization in Canada that 'the problem of unemployment' was first I discovered.' And, as Baskerville and Sager note, although workers had been frequently out of work earlier in the century, it was not until a growing portion of the working population, increasingly dependent on wages, were periodically forced into 'idleness' that Canadians began to recognize that the problem was not rooted 'inmoral failings' or the traditional seasonality of work 'but in the class relationships of industrial capitalism.' But who were they- the men and women forced into idleness? and what impact did this have on their families and communities? Echoing the findings of Alexander Keyssar in his study of the unemployed in Massachusetts , Baskervilleand Sager present a J qualified acceptance ofthe lottery paradigm.' All urban workers in Canada -women and men of all ages and of varying ethnicities and religions - had the potential to become W1employed . At the same time, the authors conclude on the basis of a detailed analysis of the 1891 and 1901 censuses, that unemployment was not random; it was 'related to aset ofoverlapping conditions' including among others, literacy, age, skill, ethnicity, industry worked in, and place of residence. What was also not random was the impact that unemployment had on individuals and their families. What is particularly fascinating is the authors' explorations of the spatial, familial, and community dimensions of unemployment. Not surprisingly...


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