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Newfoundland and Labrador: A History by Sean…

Newfoundland and Labrador: A History (2009)

by Sean Cadigan

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How well you like this book will probably depend on where you are standing.

As in, "As an American, I found this very confusing, but I suspect it would make sense to a Newfoundlander." There are parts of Newfoundland history that I know something about, from other books, and I often found that this volume brought extra focus to those topics. But when it was something I knew nothing about, it seemed an endless drone of "Now this faction [religious, or industry-based, or from some particular part of the country] gained some power, so their opponents in [wherever] organized in opposition and created a new party to do [whatever]." It read more like sports league standings than a real history. Hard to plow through.

If you have hooks in it -- if your grandparents were some of those Irish Catholics, or those Bonavista fishermen, or whatever -- it probably feels much more real to you. I don't really think it's a bad book. But it's probably not the ideal first book about Newfoundland for those from somewhere else. ( )
  waltzmn | Mar 4, 2018 |
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'We are not a nation,' declared J. R. Smallwood in his motion to send a Newfoundland delegation to Canada to discuss the possibility of union in 1946.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802044654, Hardcover)

Published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Canada, Sean T. Cadigan has written the book that will surely become the definitive history of one of North America's most distinct and beautiful regions. The site of the first European settlement by Vikings one thousand years ago, a former colony of England, and known at various times as Terra Nova and Newfoundland until its official name change to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001, this easternmost point of the continent has had a fascinating history in part because of its long-held position as the gateway between North America and Europe. Examining the region from prehistoric times to the present, Newfoundland and Labrador is not only a comprehensive history of the province, but an illuminating portrait of the Atlantic world and European colonisation of the Americas.

Cadigan comprehensively details everything from the first European settlements, the displacement and extinction of the indigenous Beothuk by European settlers, the conflicts between settlers and imperial governance, to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment's near annihilation at the Battle of the Somme, the rise of Newfoundland nationalism, Joey Smallwood's case for confederation, and the modernization and economic disappointments instigated by joining Canada. Paying particular attention to the ways in which Newfoundland and Labrador's history has been shaped by its environment, this study considers how natural resources such as the Grand Banks, the disappearance of cod, and off-shore oil have affected the region and its inhabitants.

Richly detailed, compelling, and written in an engaging and accessible style, Newfoundland and Labrador brings the rich and vibrant history of this remarkably interesting region to life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:01 -0400)

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