Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall History Books

1) Ontario prehistory:
Ron Williamson, the Toronto consulting archaeologist, runs Archaeological Service Inc., a commercial enterprise which has also made itself perhaps the most important nexus of scholarship on Ontario prehistory. I interviewed Ron a couple of years ago for a Beaver piece on his friend and mentor in Ontario archaeology, the late Bruce Trigger. Now Williamson has edited Toronto: An Illustrated History of its First 12,000 Years. It's being launched at St Lawrence Hall in Toronto, November 12, 2008.

2. Imperial Law:
Ever since historians gave up doing political, constitutional and imperial history, legal historians (mostly in law schools) have been compelled to fill in the void. Hamar Foster, a law professor at the University of Victoria, and some international co-authors, continue that effort with a collection of essays on a hugely ambitious topic, an attempt to measure the impact of British law upon colonial societies around the world.

The old imperial school would have seen this process as an unmitigated blessing. Foster and his co-authors of The Grand Experiment: Law and Legal Culture in British Settler Societies, take a rather more nuanced view.
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