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388 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW innovativeworkon Newfoundlandplacenames.Whilenoattemptwasmade to surveythe wide range of manuscriptsources relating to Newfoundland, particular collections were consultedboth locallyand elsewhere.The field recordswhichwentintothemakingof thisdictionary werecompiledthrough interviews,studentassistance, the distributionof checklists,and alert dayto -day listeningto Newfoundland speech.In the Folklore and Language Archiveat MemorialUniversity,card,manuscript, questionnaire, and tape collections wereused.In effect,thisarchiveandthedictionary grewtogether, the one feedingthe other. Part of the achievement of thisbookindeedis to be found in itsextensiveuseof oral sources; 'nothingless,'the editorsassert, would havesufficed'in a regionin whichthe localtraditionof print is late and relativelyweakbut whichdisplays a tenacious and robustoralculture.' For historians, the benefitsof the Dictionary ofNewfoundland English,and the mass of wellcatalogued primaryinformationat MemorialUniversitythat backs it up, willbemanifold.Aboveall thedictionarywillbea source of clear and precisedefinition;but, like the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, it will stimulateaswellasfacilitatefurther research, especially in theareasof Newfoundlandsocialand culturalhistory.Again, the methodology devisedby Story, Kirwin, and Widdowsonwill broaden understandingof what can be achieved throughtheuseoforalhistory sources. Handsomely designed, printed, and boundby the Universityof Toronto Press,thiscomplexbookiseasyto useand a pleasureto own.Its publicationisa bigeventin Camidianletters. PETER NEARY University of Western Ontario Hamilton:an Illustrated History. JOHNC.WEAVER. Historyof CanadianCities. Toronto,JamesLorimerand NationalMuseumof Man, NationalMuseums of Canada,•98a. Pp. 224.$24.95. Like manycolonialcommunities in the firsthalf of the nineteenthcentury, Hamilton beganasa commercial city,with ambitiousdevelopment-oriented merchants,a fine agricultural hinterland, and dreams of railway preeminence thatweremorepractical thanmany.The city's economy thenshifted markedly towardsindustry,with growingemphasis on metalsand related trades,for whichit provedvery welllocated.In fact,by the end of World War •, John Weaverargues,the citybecamevirtuallya companytown, so overwhelmingwasthe dominanceof its two major steelcompanies. Living increasingly in theshadow of Toronto,asthatcitygrewfromlocaltoregional and nationalleadership,Hamilton'sbecamea muchmore specialized economyandculturethanwastypicalof othermajorCanadian cities.It lostboth itsbanksto mergerswith strongerToronto banks;it sufferedthe ignominy of havingitsCanadaLife Assurance Company,the country's firstsuchcompany ,takenoverbyaPeterborough entrepreneuranditsheadquarters moved REVIEWS 389 to Toronto; it earned the dubiousdistinctionof becomingCanada'sfirst importantcitytohavetorelyonjustonedailynewspaper; finally,evenStelco succumbed to the logicof the corporateageby movingits head office to Toronto. This transformationand its consequences for the city and its changing populationare the subject of thisbook.Workingwithina frameworksetby its series, John WeaverexploresHamilton'seconomy,population,physical setting, andculturaldevelopment. He avoids whatmusthavebeena temptationto dwellundulyon the earlyand more fully researched part of the city's histor• andoffers anaccount thatiswell-balanced both thematically and chronologically. Fullyattentiveto the wider provincial,national,and internationalforcesthatsolargelyshaped developments in all periods,he nevertheless succeeds admirablyin portrayingHamiltonasa uniquecommunity with a specific and particularcharacter, shapedthroughtime. The bookis strengthened by overone hundred illustrations, which,with their captions (regrettably notincludedin theindex),materially extendthe analysis and argument;ten excellentmapsshowing stages of the city'sevolution and regionalrole; and an imaginatively selected body of statistics. Buildingpermits, landsubdivision, homeownership, andotherdataaugment suchstandardtablesasthoseon population,ethnicity,and religion.A truly impressive arrayof primarydocumentation haslikewise beendrawnupon. In places thismass of facts,or theverytightwordlimitationimposed by the series, threatento overwhelmor confuse the reader,aswhenthe N.t>.•'. pops up in a chapteron the •94os;or an account of the 1946electionof a communistwomantotheBoardof Controlprecedes adiscussion of thedeveloping roleof womenin civicpolitics, culminatingin theelectionof the firstwoman to the Board of Control in •934; or when the inevitablefailure of Hamilton's experimentwith philanthropic5 per centhousingisstretched to try to make a point abouthousingsupplymore generally.Happily theseoccasions are few, at leastin part because the bookis exceptionally well-groundedin an understanding of the trade cyclein Canada,and thisintegrates the workby providingbotha chronological andan analyticfocus. It isfair to saythatHamiltonhasneverenjoyed a highreputationamong non-Hamiltoniansfor amenity,culture,or, latterly,significance beyondits role assteelproducerand bastionof a successful footballteam. Yet it has, perhaps morethananyotherCanadian city,beenthesubject of someof the mostinnovative of modernCanadian historical research, froma widevariety of perspectives - in socialhistory(Katz),labouror workingclasshistory (Palmer, Heron, Roberts),business history(Kilbourn),historicalgeography (Doucet,whoalsoisresponsible for themapsinthisvolume),andlocalhistory (Dictionary ofHamilton Biography). To thislist shouldnowbe addedurban history,for John Weaver's Hamilton is an outstanding exampleof whata talentedmodernurbanhistorian cando whenhe turnsto urbanbiography. t>OUCL^S •CC^LL^TrentUniversity ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 388-389
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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