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192 The Canadian Historical Review healthy, morally respectable Anglo Protestant men, with well-paying jobs or lower-middle-class status, from the growing 'foreign' elements. Such men found two reasons to join. First was the order's sickness insurance. Second were various social advantages, from useful business and work connections to the camaraderie and ritual that made men confident insiders in an exclusive group. Those for whom the need for insurance dominated did not stay long in the order. 'On average,' the authors discovered, 'Odd Fellows quit their lodge within five years ofjoining' and 'only a third ofjoiners lasted until age forty-five.' Once their savings seemed sufficient or their families had matured to include additional income earners, insurance was less important to them. Longer-term and older Odd Fellows were less committed to the sick benefit. Their influence may have been one reason for the IOOF reducing its provisions for sick benefits after 1890 and later making it optional. The Emerys reject operational inefficiency as an explanation for the undermining of the mandatory sick benefit. The recruitment of clients by lodge brothers and administration by lodge officers kept overhead low. Close moral scrutiny avoided poor risks, and the fraternal interest of lodge members in one another's well-being made deception difficult. Moreover, the appeal of the order to young men, whose risk of illness was lower than average, allowed lodges to accumulate reserves for a time when older members with higher claim rates were more common. Nor do the authors find much evidence for increasing competition from other insurers as a cause for decline before 1929 - after certainly, but not before. George Emery and J.C. Herbert Emery offer a persuasive interpretation for the appeal and decline of the IOOF. Their uneven data render their findings suggestive rather than compelling. Their theory of 'a young man's benefit' rests on analysis of the approximately 1800 members of six Canadian lodges. Still, they have set the parameters for more narrowly focused case studies of fraternal and mutual benefit societies. DAVID G. BURLEY University ofWinnipeg The Waning ofthe Green: Catholics, the Irish, and Identity in Toronto, 18871922 . MARK G. MCGOWAN. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press 1999. Pp. xi, 414. $49·95 The history ofthe Irish Catholic experience in Canada has traditionally been viewed through a nineteenth-century prism, a period characterized Book Reviews 193 by the traumatic famine migration, violent confrontations between Irish Catholics and Protestants, and an unswerving Irish ethnic identification with the homeland. It is the latter point that Mark McGowan emphatically refutes in The Waning of the Green. Through the use of Catholic Church documents, organizational records, newspapers, and census data, he mounts a spirited revisionist assault on the idea that Irish Catholic Canadians carried their devotion to Irish nationalism into the twentieth century. The author persuasively debunks some older interpretations as he traces the successful integration ofToronto's Irish Catholics into Canadian society. However, his assertion that the group's ethnic identity essentially met its demise by the 1920s is less than compelling. Employing the 'lab' of Toronto, a city with a nineteenth-century reputation of being the 'Belfast of North America,' McGowan skilfully hones in on a number ofparishes to make his case. Contrary to popular perceptions, he asserts that Irish Catholics were neither ghettoized nor economically and socially marginalized. Moreover, Toronto's Englishspeaking Catholics, the overwhelming majority ofwhich were Irish, had fully adopted a Canadian national orientation by the 1920s. McGowan reconstructs this process through an analysis of the role of Catholic Church leaders, the women and men of the laity, religiously and ethnically based associations, Toronto's denominational school system, the Catholic press, the English-speaking__Catholics' developing relationship with recent European Catholic immigrants, and the enthusiastic contributions of the city's Catholics to Canada's First World War efforts. McGowan characterizes this transformation in a positive light, wherein Irish Catholics eagerly sought to improve their economic and social lot while they forged a rapprochement with Protestants and distanced themselves from French Catholic tensions that plagued the nation in the Laurier and Borden years. Most important, McGowan maintains that Canada's Irish Catholics essentially lost interest in the 'old sod' and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 192-194
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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