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Book Reviews 369 themselves fully to communalism, while others practised it in varying degrees, and still others remained wholly individualistic. Even among communalists, some rejected the leadership and vision of Peter Verigin and organized independent communes. The relative proportions of these various forms of economic cooperation varied from reserve to reserve, from village to village, and even within villages. This diversity sprang, in part, from differences among groups ofDoukhobors that emigrated from various regions in Russia, and from the specific qualities of the lands on which they settled. But Doukhobor society also experienced repeated upheavals, and its diverse character changed over time. Tracie cannot be accused of overgeneralization; at times, his meticulous research leads him to note so many exceptions, insert so many qualifications, and draw such fine distinctions that his generalizations almost fade away entirely. Nonetheless, he is able to demonstrate how the cultural landscape reflected this diversity. Economically independent Doukhobors, for example, combined house and barn into single structures , while communal Doukhobors constructed large cooperative barns and built separate houses. Many admirable features of the book guide the reader through the complexity of description and analysis: clear prose, plenty of excellent maps and photographs, the relegation of many statistics to tables, and the placement of notes at the bottom of each page. The return ofthe notes to their proper place, for which the publisher deserves high praise, is especially valuable here because many of them are explanatory. For those interested in the religious-political history of the Doukhobors , the book refines, but does not supersede, the existing literature. Such readers may discover that they learn far more about Doukhobor settlement patterns than they ever wished to know. For those with a serious interest in cultural geography, however, the book makes a valuable and welcome appearance. PAUL VOISEY University ofAlberta Mennonites in Canada, 1939-1970: A People Traniformed. T.D. REGEHR. Toronto: University of Toronto Press 1996. Pp. xxxviii, 563, illus. $2 9·95 This is the third and, for the present, final volume of a history of the Mennonites in Canada, the first of which appeared in 1974. The two earlier volumes were written by the late Frank H. Epp; Regehr, an established historian of Mennonite descent, has completed the trilogy. In the absence of many critical, scholarly studies of Mennonite life, 370 The Canadian Historical Review Regehr has acted as primary researcher and synthesizer of a mass of unanalysed information. His research took him to Europe, the United States, and to numerous Canadian archives, Mennonite and nonMennonite . He carried out oral history, and, in places, reflects on his personal experiences of people and events. It is no easy task to link the history of Canadian Mennonites into a cohesive, comprehensible account. There are immense differences among Mennonite groups in Canada in terms of their historical origins, time and place of settlement, developing religious views, and interactions within and reactions to Canadian society. The fact that congregations have maintained a high degree of independence, even while provincial, national, and international Mennonite organizations have developed, merely adds to the complex task ofwriting any general Mennonite history. Regehr deals with this complexity chronologically in sixteen chapters divided into five parts. Each part has a different emphasis, producing a more thematic approach to each period. Of immediate concern to Mennonites after 1939 was the Second World War, a challenge to a non-resistant people and one that threw into sharp focus the differences among Mennonite groups. Postwar economic prosperity, combined with rapid changes in Canadian society, produced new challenges for a voluntarist religious group that depended heavily on the continuity of generations, on language differences, and on separation from the world to maintain its distinct identity and membership. The challenges of prosperity, education, language shift, changing authority structures in congregations and conferences, and Mennonite activism in Canadian and international affairs are all dealt with in detail. The book moves from the world of the farm cart towards the industrial urban complex illustrated on the cover of the book. A central theme of Regehr's book involves this shift from ruralbased religious communities to modern, urban society. However, in structuring his discussion, .Regehr depends too heavily on the simple taxonomies and impoverished...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 369-371
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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