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300 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW chapters, of the more detailedmaterialto comelater. Elevenchapters then follow,eachdevoted to thestoryof a particularclass of institution. A chapter on interestratessitsratheruneasily between thesechapters and a concluding onethat summarizes themainfeatures of theevolution of thefinancialsystem. A valuablestatistical appendixfollows.In it thereare two tablesthat include the main fruits of the author's statistical research. In the first of these tables thetotalassets of broadgroups of financial institutions aregivenfor eachyear i87o-i97o, in currentdollars,in constant(•935-9) dollars,and, for the current dollar data, as a proportionof gross nationalproduct.The second table gives, for a detailedclassification of institutions and for eachyearof the last century, the assets of the class of institution and their relativeweightamong institutions. A verycomplete indexhasalsobeensupplied. Professor Neufeld has written his book in a workmanlikeway. It is not poetry;but it is clear,concise prose froma first-class expositor. Many groups will be interested in what he has offered us. Those who work in corners of the financialindustry will be interested in howthe authorfitsthemin themosaic. Students of historywill find the materialherewhichwill assist themin seeing the financialdimension of our Canadiandevelopment. Students of economics and financewill welcome boththe chapters on thepointof viewof thecapital marketand thechapters onparticularinstitutions. The general publiccanalso readthisbook.It is,of course, a specialized book,but its vocabulary is accessibletoanyone whose curiosity islikelytobepiquedbytheritle. In hisconclusion, the authorremarks that Canadahasdeveloped 'a remarkably sophisticated and comprehensive financialsystem and one that is quite flexible.'He notesthe gradualbreakdown of the functionaldistinctions among institutions and regardsthisasa desirable development from the viewpointof increasing the economic efficiency of the capital market. Professor Neufeld suggests that thisbreakdown and the changing patternof concentration within sectors of the industry makes the development of 'an explicitand economically rationalmergerpolicy'perhapsthe mosturgenttaskfor government in its guidingof theevolutionof ourfinancialsystem. WILLIAM C. HOOD CanadianBusiness History:Selected Studies,•497-•97•. Edited by i)^vms. MACrnLLA•. Toronto,McClellandandStewart,i97•. Pp.vi, 346.$i•.5o. Business historyseems to be a major centreof actionin Canadianhistoriography , at leastat the level of graduatedissertations and of need felt by historians.The first collectionof essays in the field, then, shouldgenerate considerable enthusiasm. Or, at anyrate,theprospect of sucha collection did. Readingthe essays gatheredhereunfortunately makesit veryeasyto restrain that enthusiasm. CanadianBusiness Historyisa disappointing, uncreative, often slipshod - in short,bad- book. Any collection of thissortisinevitably a grab-bag of unevenapproaches and REVIEWS 301 uneven quality.Professor Macmillan's book,however, isbeyond anyreasonable standards in this respect. None of the essays, with the possible exception of J. MichaelBliss'articleon the Canadianbusinessman and hisenemies, is first rate.A numberare usefuland acceptable: J.M.S. Careless' pieceon the business community of Victoria; 'The MontrealBusiness Community,•837-•853' by Gerald Tulchinsky;T.W. Acheson's sometimes provocative articleon the socialorigins of the industrial elitein the i88os;Douglas McCalla'sstudyof PeterBuchanan; an articleon the lobbying of the Bc ElectricRailwayby Patricia Roy; John Archer'sworkmanlikedescription of Canadianbusiness records; and Alan Wilson's 'Problems and Traditionsof Business History.'For the rest,it is a prettydismalpicture.Some,suchasthe articlesby F.H. Armstrong andby Professor Macmillanhimself,needa gooddealof editorialwork. Othersaresimplynotgoodenough for publication hereor elsewhere. The bookgetsoff to a disastrous start.The firstessay, by JohnGilchriston the Newfoundlandfishery,•497-•677, hasno apparentrationale.Basedon a selection of well-knownprintedsources suchas Hakluyt, Innis' SelectDocumentsin CanadianEconomic History,the JesuitRelations,and Biggar,it is another'onceoverlightly'on thecodfishery, with no startlingnewinterpretations .Harold Innis did it bettera generation ago; asthe openingessay in a collection dedicated to a 'newdirection'in Canadianhistory,it is lamentably inappropriate.This is not only because it is mainly familiar stuff but also because theoretically and methodologically it is old-fashioned. How business historydiffersfrom the economic historywrittenin Canadafor the lastfifty years isnotapparent here. The two articlesfollowingalsopresent serious difficulties. JamesPritchard's 'Commerce in New France'isa conventional survey of economic history, again resting largelyon the usualprintedsources. It addslittle to existing accounts and suffers seriously in comparison to the worksof scholars suchasHamelin and Nish.Professor Macmillanhascontributed a verylongpaper,'"The New Men" in Action: Scottish Mercantileand ShippingOperations in the North AmericanColonies,i76o-i8•5.' There is a gooddeal of interesting material but evenmoreexcess baggage. The non-Canadian section isoverlylong.Since the articleis essentially descriptive, the needfor coverage of all threeareasCanada ,Nova Scotia,and New Brunswick-is dubious,especially sincethe treatments of the threeareneverintegrated to makeanycoherent pattern.In fact, throughout, the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 300-302
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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