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194 The Canadian Historical Review Hibernians and other groups, McGowan's insistence that Irish Catholic nationalistic associations had faded by the 1920s is problematic. The author's 'view from the pew' is instead top heavywith sources from community elites and, despite assertions to the contrary, the press continued to focus on Irish nationalism. The section on politics - five pages - is much too brief to establish recognizable patterns of Catholic voting behaviour. As a result, the English-speaking Catholic support for conscription and the Union government remains elusive. Finally, the author's assumption that voluntary military service indicates an erosion ofethnic identification is dubious. McGowan seems to believe that it is not possible to be at one time a Canadian nationalist and attentive to one's ethnic roots. Must these dynamics be mutually exclusive? In sum, the author articulates an intensely nationalistic ideal of Canadian pluralism, tolerance, and peaceful development in the early twentieth century. Irish Catholics became full-fledged Canadians in this context. McGowan's work is a welcome contribution to an ongoing debate on ethnicity.and religious identity in Canadian history. By sharply focusing on an urban community in a critical moment of national development , he helps to lift the oppressive burden ofaccepting erroneous notions ofperennial Protestant-Catholic tensions and the persistence of an economically and socially abused underclass of Irish Catholics. McGowanconvincinglyprovesthatnineteenth -centuryimpressions skewour understanding oftwentieth-century national development in Canada. At the same time, readers might well take issue with his portrayal ofthe demise oflrish Catholic ethnic orientation and the group's lack ofconcern with Ireland's national development, politics, and religious tensions. SCOITW. SEE University ofMaine The Infinite Bonds ofFamily: Domesticity in Canada, 1850-1940. CYNTHIA COMACCHIO. Toronto: University ofToronto Press 1999. Pp. 180. $45.00 cloth, $12.95 paper The Infinite Bonds ofFamily is the fourth contribution to the University of Toronto Press's Themes in Canadian Social History series. The relatively short books in this series are intended to serve as broad introductions to undergraduates and general readers. This path-breaking and ambitious contribution on family brings together much of the Canadian Englishlanguage published research. It is most helpful in its proposal of a periodization for the study of the Canadian family and the author's identification of the three approaches that have dominated the field to this point: demographic, life course, and sentimental/emotional. Comae- Book Reviews 195 chio also draws our attention to the beliefthat the family was always in crisis. She shows how this perceived ongoing emergency created opportunities for various interests, such as the state or professionals, to intervene into the private sphere. The definition used to examine the family here is broad, and there is a serious and successful effort to acknowledge diversity. At the same time, the author seeks to examine both the 'pervasive ideals' and the 'material, day-to-day realities' ofdomestic life, taking into consideration variables of'class, gender, region, race, ethnicity, religion, and age.' This approach highlights connections between family and gender in the construction ofan understanding ofmasculinity and femininity, and the family as a place where public and private overlap. The book is organized around what Cornacchio refers to as 'punctuation points,' such as the 'second' industrial revolution at the turn ofthe twentieth century, the Great War, and the Depression. These public enonomic , military, and political ruptures are linked to internal changes within the family, such as the shift from domestic to factory production, the dramatic decline in family size, the changes in the socioeconomic role ofwomen, and a new relationship between the state and the private sphere. The problems with this study are not so much specific to this book, but rather reflect the nascent state offamily history in Canada. Concerns that relate specifically to this project are the virtual absence of Quebec, with the exception of the work of Bettina Bradbury, Gerard Bouchard, Denyse Baillargeon, and Andree Levesque, and the decision to confine the study to what the author refers to as the 'nation building' period of 1850 to 1940. Other problems such as the weak legal and religious context , the disproportionate emphasis on the twentieth century, and the neglect ofrural and small-town experience testify to the fact that the author...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 194-196
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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