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REVIEWS 345 of theincreasing monopolization of themass mediain QuebecbythePaulDesmarais -Power Corporation consortium after I967. He contends that thisquasimonopolistic controlof information is conducive to ideological indoctrination andintellectual totalitarianism, andwill leadeventually tothedeathof theright of dissent. To support hisallegations Godindescribes howPaulDesmarais has reoriented LaPressds administration andeditorial policy toconform rigidlytohis staunchfederalist,anti-unionist,and anti-socialistbeliefs.This changewas achieved bydismissing all radicaljournalists, byimposing strictlimitations on coverage of nationalist andseparatist activities, andbystressing La Presse's role asa disseminator of 'objective' news information ratherthanasa criticalinterpreter ofQuebec's social, economic, andpolitical evolution. Themost significant consequence forQuebec, andonewhichisstrongly deplored byGodin, wasthat La Presse ceased to bethenationaldailyof the Qu•b•coisnationand became merely afrancophone vehicle fortheexpression ofAnglo-American political and cultural values. While the author'sconcernovertheincreased monopolization of the Quebec mass mediaiscertainly valid,he failsto substantiate hischargethat La Presse no longerserves the interests of the Quebeccommunity. He mightwell have asked himself whether thegrowthofseparatism andlibertarian socialism in Quebecduringthe •96oswerenot partiallyresponsible for creatingan atmosphere which allowedthe excessive concentration of Quebec'smassmedia to go unchecked . Nevertheless, Godinhasasked manyoftherightquestions andprovided some keeninsights intothelimitations of thepress. The onlymajorshortcoming isthatthereaderhastoplowthrough endless pages ofjournalistic jargon,much of whichisredundant and unimportant, in orderto retrievethe essential. For those withthestamina theresults arerewarding. MICHAEL D. BEHIELS Universityof Toronto BRITAIN AND THE COMMONWEALTH Henry II. W.L. WARREN. Berkeleyand Los Angeles,Universityof California Press, I973.PP.xvi,693.$eo.oo. Thisstudy ofHenryii ofEnglandisexhaustive andmagisterial. It isa remarkable achievement, thoughsomewhat formidablein itslengthand weight,and in the repetition whichhasresulted from Professor Warren'sscrupulous attentionto what he rightlycallsa multiplicityof diversethemes.On the whole,however, the repetitionisjustified;it makespossible a thoroughness whichis oneof the outstanding qualities ofhiswork. BruceMcFarlaneonceremarked(somewhat surprisingly) that the greatest manwhoeverruledin EnglandwasHenryv, butthefifth Henry'sachievements, remarkable though theywere,seem tofall a gooddealshortofthose of hisnamesakerevealedin Professor Warren'swork. This is by no meansan uncritical eulogy; onthecontrary, it issober andobjective. It records allHenry's wilfulness 346 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW andpassion, hisoverweening youthful self-confidence, andhiscostly earlymistakes .But it alsopainstakingly reveals the magnitude of the problems Henry inherited,after themostdisastrous civilwar Englandeverknew,theimmense and unceasing labourhe devotedto the taskof repairingthe damageand fulfillinghiskinglyoffice (thoughit perhaps doesnot adequately portraythe mystique of the office),and the simplicity of genius whichwasrevealed in the improvisations andinnovations whichhemade. Besides beingan outstanding soldier, Henrywasan unflagging andingenious reformer in manyaspects of government. His energy, asiswellknown, wasprodigious , backedbya greatintelligence. Dr Warrenjustlyclaims thathe accomplished a complete transformation in the practiceof Englishlaw. In a broader context,he established a new co-operation betweenking, magnates, and men oftheshires, thebasis foranEnglish combination oforderandlibertywhichbore spectacular fruitinthefollowing years. Professor Warrenisalmost equallyconvincing in histreatment of thetragedy of Henry'sconflictwith Becket, thoughhe may havefailedto bringout sufficientlythe strength of the forcesleadingtowardsthe conflictin the shapeof reforming ideasin thechurchconfronted by expanding claims by the secular territorialstate.The greatest singlefactor,he believes, makingfor the final tragedy, wasthesimple clash ofpersonalities. In this,Becket wasmuchthegreater offender. Henry'sjustification isthathisattitudewasat bottomin linewith that of hispredecessors sincethe Norman 'Conquest. And he left roomfor compromise . Becket,on the otherhand, wasrigid, narrow,and simpliste in his methods whichofferedlittlescope formanceuvre. Professor Warrenwouldbethelastto claimfinalityin regardto suchdifficult problems, butit iscertainthatnoserious student of thisperiodmaysafely ignore theopinions setforthinsuch abalanced andscholarly study. It issafe toprophesy thatit willbeastandard biography ofHenryn formanyyears tocome. B. WILKINSON Toronto Cromwellthe Lord Protector.^N•'ON•^FR^SER. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, •973.PP.xx,774,illus.$I•.5o. In this,thelatestin a verylonglineof biographies of Oliver Cromwell,Antonia Fraser hasproduced a worth-while, albeitnotespecially original, study, butcertainlyonethatapproaches agood dealcloser toitssubject thanChristopher Hill's God'sEnglishman.It was the author'saim not to trespass on the domain of scholars, but,moremodestly, 'torescue thepersonality of OliverCromwellfrom theobscurity intowhichit seemed ... that it hadfallen.'If weaccept thelimitationsinherentin thisdescription of purpose we haveto judgethebiography a Success. The author'saim, of course, isto defendher subject fromcriticism, and to do thisshehasadoptedthenotunusual deviceof seeing theProtector in termsof a series ofparadoxes. In theend,shehasconcluded, Cromwell wasa tragicfigure because circumstances kept forcinghim to adopt contradictory postures. His ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 345-346
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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