The Penguin History of CanadaBook - 2006
Canada is in many ways a country of limits, a paradox for a place that enjoys virtually unlimited space. Most of that space is uninhabited, and much of it is uninhabitable. It is a country with a huge North but with most of its population in the South, hugging the American border.
Canada's history, eminent historian Robert Bothwell argues, is more than simply regional or national. In some respects Canada makes most sense when viewed from the outside in. The world has always seen Canada as a terrain for experiment and a land of opportunity. The colonies and regions and disparate populations that became Canada derived from and were connected to a larger world. At first Canada's survival and, later, its prosperity depended on links with the world outside—the technologies that drove steamships and trains across oceans and continents; the armies that battled for North America; the furs, wheat, and gold that bought Canada a place in the world's trading system.
Canada is unusual in other ways. Its inhabitants had to compromise deeply held beliefs about religion and nationality in order to live together. Compromise came only with difficulty, and the process of working out a tolerable system of government and politics has repeatedly produced painful confrontations between French and English, East and West, natives and non-natives.
An uneasy and difficult country, Canada has nevertheless defied the odds: it remains, in the twenty-first century, a haven of peace and a beacon of prosperity. Erudite yet accessible and marked by narrative flair,The Penguin History of Canada paints an expansive portrait of a dynamic and complex country.