Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ideas for the Hard-to-buy-for Historian #3

John Robert Colombo, the Master Gatherer, anthologist extraordinaire, and most recently the author of Footloose: A Commentary on the Books of Gordon Sinclair, offers a suggestion:
Surely the professional historian or the professor of history will want to buy a book to give to a younger reader as a Christmas gift. I am impressed with the quality of the popular titles in the "True Canadian" series published by Prospero Books. This series is a well-kept trade secret for the books are really published by Key Porter of Toronto for the Indigo-Chapters chain. Their current title is "True Canadian Explorers" and this 286-page trade paperback is written from secondary sources by Ed Butts, a Guelph-based journalist. Butts writes readably and responsibly about the early explorers, including Cabot and Frobisher and on down to (or up to) Thompson and Vancouver. He has a nice, light touch. For instance, the chapter on Radisson and Groseilliers begins, "Generations of Canadian schoolchildren have known this pair of remarkable fur traders and explorers as 'Mr. Radishes and Mr. Gooseberries.'" These are "stories" that should be told and should be known by younger readers.
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