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Exploring Canada’s Past: Key New Nonfiction Works to Check Out in 2024



Canadian history enthusiasts have a rich new offering of nonfiction works that delve into various aspects of the nation’s past. From the early days of colonization to the evolution of individual rights and the monumental construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, these new and upcoming titles promise to provide insightful perspectives on Canada’s historical landscape.

1. “Crosses in the Sky” by Mark Bourrie:

This biography of Jesuit missionary Jean de Brébeuf, set against the backdrop of the colonization of Huronia, offers a nuanced exploration of the early encounters between Jesuits and Indigenous peoples. The book aims to challenge traditional narratives, shedding light on the complex legacy of these interactions and their lasting impact on settler-Indigenous relations in Canada. Mark Bourrie has written extensively about Canadian history, and this upcoming book, set for release in May, is a deeply researched addition to his growing body of work.

2. “Forgotten History: Civil Rights in Canada” by Conrad Black

In a timely examination of the evolution of individual rights in Canada, Conrad Black navigates through historical milestones from New France to the present day.

The book contextualizes recent events, such as the truckers’ convoy and controversies surrounding free speech, within the broader narrative of Canada’s legal and cultural development concerning civil rights. Black’s work serves as a crucial reminder of the dynamic nature of rights and freedoms in Canadian society.

3. “Dominion: The Railway and the Rise of Canada” by Stephen Bown

Following his acclaimed work “The Company,” Bown returns with a riveting account of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s construction. “Dominion” portrays the engineering marvel that linked disparate British colonies, transforming them into a unified nation. Through a blend of adventure, adversity, and ambition, Bown provides a comprehensive view of the railway’s role in shaping Canada, highlighting the experiences of diverse figures involved in this monumental project.

These new titles can provide small windows into Canada’s soul, offering readers an opportunity to reflect on the nation’s identity, challenges, and achievements. The works of these talented authors are set to ignite conversations in the coming years, inspiring a deeper understanding and appreciation for the rich tapestry of Canadian history.


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