A History of Canada in Ten Maps Kindle ↠ of Canada

A History of Canada in Ten Maps The sweeping epic story of the mysterious land that came to be called Canada like it's never been told before Every map tells a story And every map has a purpose it invites us to go somewhere we've never been It's an account of what we know but also a trace of what we long for Ten Maps conjures the world as it appeared to those who were called upon to map it What would the new world look like to wandering Vikings who thought they had drifted into a land of mythical creatures or Samuel de Champlain who had no idea of the vastness of the landmass just beyond the treelineAdam Shoalts one of Canada's foremost explorers tells the stories behind these centuries old maps and how they came to shape what became CanadaIt's a story that will surprise readers and reveal the Canada we never knew was hidden It brings to life the characters and the bloody disputes that forged our history by showing us what the world looked like before it entered the history books Combining storytelling cartography geography archaeology and of course history this book shows us Canada in a way we've never seen it before

10 thoughts on “A History of Canada in Ten Maps

  1. Danielle Tremblay Danielle Tremblay says:

    This is definitely not a historical or an adventure novel But the author succeeded in showing this immense country's history through the eyes of those who mapped it the adventurers who wanted to see beyond the trees near its natural borders The book goes back as far as modern knowledge allows it that is to say up to its very first inhabitants and until the confederation passing by the coming of Vikings It tells of its legends trades and deals rivalries partnerships and agreements mysteries and much The author has done a tremendous research work His book is not just a rough map of the country's borders; it's a visit to the heart of the country's first nations the people who created it and lived thereObviously we are not shown everything that happened at that distant time But how could that be? It was necessary to stay with the founders and other outstanding figures and milestones But the author has managed to give this magnificent country its place on the world map and to do so in a reader friendly wayI recommend this book to all history lovers of course whether they are Canadian or not but also to those who are interested in geography and anthropology If you think you know everything about Canadian history and culture I can assure you that you will discover a few things here But even readers of historical novels or adventure story could find what they are looking for in its pagesThanks to GoodReads giveaways for this book I won in exchange for an honest review

  2. Andrew Andrew says:

    For starters this isn't really a book about maps So put aside notions of a boring tome of cartography Sure there are maps here but they feel like an organizing principle than the topic of discussionWhat is that discussion? The dramatic heroic foolhardy bloody frozen and inspired exploration of Canada How did our vast country come to be drawn on the maps and understood? Before Google Earth documented everything from the heavens obstinate but brilliant men women Europeans Canadians and most of all Indigenous People trekked past the last ramshackle fort and into the forest And sometimes beyond to the frozen wastesWhy we haven't learned THIS version of Canadian history in school is black mark on curricula across the country More students would pursue history as a proud discipline while standing with humility before the feats of those who literally put it on the map

  3. Kara Babcock Kara Babcock says:

    So this is a proof copy from the publisher via NetGalley tanks and I have to just put it out there that I didn’t actually see any maps in this version I don’t know if that’s by design or simply that they hadn’t been set into the book at the type this version was exported It seems a little silly to me that a book called A History of Canada in Ten Maps does not in fact include any pictures of maps Adam Shoalts’ writing is definitely engaging and edifying so I wouldn’t say that the lack of maps is a dealbreaker It’s just odd considering the premise of the bookWhen I first started writing this review I said I had “somewhat mixed feelings” about this book The I write the review though and process the implications of Shoalts’ writing the I’m convinced this book is trashTaken at face value A History of Canada in Ten Maps aside from the not having maps thing is what it says on the cover ten stories Starting with the Viking visitations a millennium ago and ending with Dr Richardson’s mapping of the Arctic Shoalts examines what he considers pivotal moments in our comprehension of the geography of this land Basically his thesis is the history of Canada may be understood through the history of those who explored it His writing is for the most part uite entertaining and holds one’s interest though I have a few ualms which we’ll get to presentlySo why the long face and low rating? Put simply Shoalts’ entire approach to Canadian history is an uncomplicated uncritical narrative that appropriates and patronizes Indigenous cultures and histories instead of acknowledging their primacy on this land By way of full disclaimer I want to make it clear I’m a settler; there is no way I can adeuately represent an “Indigenous perspective” of this book But I’ve read enough trash takes on Indigenous peoples to recognize the broad strokes and it behoves me to use my privilege as a settler to speak out about itAgain if we just launch into this book uncritically and take it at face value it looks like Shoalts is acknowledging both the presence and crucial involvement of First Nations Métis and Inuit peoples during the European exploration read invasion of the continent He points out that the most successful explorers and surveyors were the ones who worked with the Indigenous peoples of the area Yet he seldom examines the reasons for those explorers and surveyors being there I wish he presented the fur trade and entities like the Hudson’s Bay Company in a far critical lightMoreover Shoalts relies a great deal on primary source accounts of the explorers such as their diaries or secondary sources written from a very Eurocentric perspective So we end up in a situation like endnote 7 of Chapter 6¸ wherein Shoalts apologizes for Hearne’s account of the way Dene chief Matonabbee treats women on the other hand if we try to set aside twenty first century perspectives and examine things from the context of the 1770s Matonabbe’s views can be seen in another light Matonabbee was in essence saying to HearneAnd that’s where I checked out of that note because putting words in a historical person’s mouth even in an attempt to paraphrase is not a good look for a non fiction history book It’s doubly un good when the person in uestion is Indigenous and the author is not Whether or not Shoalts or Hearne or any of the scholars and sources Shoalts relies on is ultimately “correct” in their portrayal is beside the point the point is that this shit is complicated but Shoalts is presenting it in a very simplified uncomplicated lightIntentions are also beside the point I suspect Shoalts has good intentions here Take a look at this passage from his afterwordPerhaps the revival of indigenous cultures provides a vision for a society that gets us past seeing the natural world in terms of dollars and cents gross domestic product a means to an end Indigenous knowledge holds out the hope that we’ll recognize Canada’s remaining wild lands and wildlife for the irreplaceable gifts that they areOn the surface this seems very positive very much in the spirit of reconciliation But if you stop and think about it Shoalts is positioning “indigenous cultures” as these treasure troves of “a vision for a better society” as if they’re something we can just adopt cough appropriate cough without doing the work He is endorsing “Indigenous knowledge” but not actually connecting that to the action needed to restore that knowledge to primacy—ie restoring the landAnd this is evident from the entire rest of A History of Canada in Ten Maps Time and again Shoalts acknowledges the existence of Indigenous people on this land but relegates them to the roles of antagonist sidekickally or bystander; the protagonists are always European Although he never sugarcoats the treacherous nature of traversing wilderness he romanticizes the process of exploration and colonization these explorers are intrepid male heroes who brave incredible odds might be accompanied by the “good” or “noble” Indigenous person and challenged by the “bad” or “unwelcoming” Indigenous person There might be an element of wish fulfillment happening here; at the end of his afterword Shoalts talks about a solo journey across the Arctic I have to wonder if he rather identifies with these explorers sees them as kindred spirits and yearns for the “simpler times” of men being real men of going on these adventuresBecause that’s really the tone of this book it’s a “boy’s own adventure” chronicling the exploration of this country Again Shoalts makes attempts to acknowledge that not everyone sees Canada as a positive thing referring at one point in the afterword to “an unwelcome empire” Yet these attempts are meaningless considering the grand theme of this book the emphasis on Canada’s greatness as a product of centuries of committed exploration Within the same paragraph as the previous uote he claims that the “unspoiled wilderness” is “the bedrock of our country—the harsh but beautiful reality that gives meaning to our national identity” Much eye rolling ensuedThis kind of hyperbole recurs throughout the book Shoalts has these weird moments where he waxes way too poetical about our country and famous people like when he says “In a couple of thousand years when history has mingled with legend Alexander Mackenzie might become to Canada what Odysseus is to Greece” Or when he talks about the treatment of Pierre Esprit Radisson at the hands of the Irouois and says “Fortunately it was only an ordinary bit of torture a few ripped out fingernails burnt flesh sitcking a red hot knife through his foot and so on” That is an oddly macabre attempt at humour and it feels so awkward and out of placeIt’s notable that not once does Shoalts engage with any of the problematic aspects of European sanctioned map making There’s an entire chapter about the redrawing of the Canadian–American border after the War of 1812 focusing a great deal on the strategic and heroic efforts of figures like Brock and Drummond But where’s the chapter on the various Treaties particularly the numbered Treaties? These were a series of patchwork map land grabs by the federal and provincial governments well worth entire books of their own Similarly Shoalts could have included a chapter on the creation on Nunavut in 1999 perhaps the most successful land claim ever since colonization That was an event that literally redrew the map of Canada within my lifetime How about a map that shows all the residential schools across the country? But you know war maps are fun right?This is a prime example of how it’s possible both to be progressive and yet still racist in one’s actions or writing A History of Canada in Ten Maps commits the same error that our current federal government has done using the right words and phrases like reconciliation or nation to nation relationship without really acting on those words and phrases Shoalts often says the right things or at least tries to but ultimately A History of Canada in Ten Maps is an extremely Eurocentric settler based perspective of our country’s history It’s not that it’s poorly written or uninteresting—but we don’t really need books like this We absolutely do not need to mythologize the contributions of privileged white guys “taming” Canada into the country we have today We need Indigenous histories of this country by Indigenous people; and we need settlers who are writing history to examine critically what they’re saying instead of just try to say what they think might be politically correctNot angry just disappointed

  4. Koit Koit says:

    I enjoyed this throughout though it kind of also missed out on what it said it would be The stories presented about the explorers and voyageurs were well worth the space on the paper but throughout the entire book the maps were of a secondary thought This could have been 'A History of Canada in Ten Episodes' and the difference would have been immaterial So for the lack of emphasis on the maps I deducted a point while the excellent uality of the stories is worth uite a few others I do think the author's biases come through and he is perhaps not as harsh as one should be on Mackenzie and how original he was and who he borrowed from in his journeys but at the same time the chapter on the Norsemen is illuminating and the early Frenchmen get a lot of credit as is their dueThe final points about the future are perhaps less reuired in a book like this although it came at the right time for me when I'd just been looking into the Canadian Arctic and it's general mapping Hydrography is where it is right now but the pace of the afterword was uite different from the rest of the book but if my main problem is with the title and the afterword I think we can say that the book itself was pretty good indeedMore importantly heed my warning about maps Maps aren't a part of this story but Canada is so if you are interested in Canada go ahead but if it is maps then rather stay away This review was originally posted on my blog

  5. Kristen Lesperance Kristen Lesperance says:

    This book is a fantastic read The author really took the time to research this book and get all the facts I found that he had a fantastic way of writing that really showed his passion and really added additional fuel to my passion for Canadian history I had the opportunity to meet the author at a book signing where he talked about his time he did canoeing the arctic and followed the same route as the explorers It was awesome to see the pictures and then to read about what the explorers did while in the same places I think this is a read every Canadian should read as it gives an interesting prospective on Canada history

  6. Rick Rick says:

    I heard the author speak at a Rotary Conference in Collingwood; not having read his first book wasn't sure what to expect but his talk was very entertaining and funny so I bought his book afterwards I was lucky to get a copy as the bookseller at the event uickly sold out I've read a lot of Canadian history; much of it boring some of it interesting But nothing like this History would be everyone's favourite subject if it were taught like this I ended up staying up until 230 that night because I couldn't put the thing down The book has an epic scope that transcends a traditional approach to the country's past weaving in Vikings First Nations Champlain legends monsters voyageurs explorers wars heroes villains and into a story that is often inspiring but also at times uite funny The maps in the book are beautiful colour reproductions of very old maps with each one linked to a chapter in the book Shoalts has a knack for bringing the past to life; even impressive for a book that reads as well as this one are the hundreds of notes on sources included at the end of the book for readers wanting to know

  7. Duckpondwithoutducks Duckpondwithoutducks says:

    I received a copy of this in a Goodreads giveawayThis book is a history of Canada from approximately 1000 AD to the mid 1800s told through the lens of various explorers and map makersEach chapter focuses on a different explorer and mapmaker some well known like Samuel de Champlain and Alexander Mackenzie some not as well known like Jacues Nicolas Bellin and Peter PondChapter 9 included a detailed account of one particular battle of the War of 1812 though that didn't uite seem to fit in with the rest of the bookThe book was full of action and adventure and I really enjoyed itThe only thing is that with the title I expected there to be maps in the bookIt would greatly enrichen the experience of reading the book if you could refer to the maps spoken about in the textMy copy was just a proof copy so maybe there will be maps in the hardcover when it comes out next month

  8. Surreysmum Surreysmum says:

    This work of popular history by a young man who is a modern explorer himself is understandably chiefly centred around exploration maps of territory now within Canada's boundaries It has a fairly informal tone but full scholarly apparatus I enjoyed the thoughtful preface and afterword material and the summaries of the exploits of various famous explorers were highly readable with many interesting anecdotes I also thought the tone successfully avoided any suggestion of hero worship and also acknowledged in a timely way the major contributions of named and described indigenous allies and collaborators some of whom as expedition members ventured nearly as far away from their homes as the Europeans or Canadians they assisted The main disappointment of the volume is one that was presumably out of the author's control the reproductions of the maps although coloured and glossy are constrained to too small a size by the book's standard format to be really enjoyed A coffee table format would have been better but probably too expensive One of the chief victims of this shortcoming is the Thomson map one I am very familiar with having worked alongside the original for many years but that huge faded map would likely have been chiefly illegible even in a much larger reproduction it is largely illegible close up in its originalThis is not groundbreaking history nor is it really cartographic analysis though there is some discussion of the history and techniues of cartography in the preliminaries It's a sesuicentennial project aimed at a general audience and if my uite vivid recent memories of its tales about the Vikings about Cartier and Champlain and Hearne and Mackenzie and Thomson and Franklin are any indication it has certainly done its job of raising awareness of the role exploration and mapping played in the early definition of the boundaries of the state we now call Canada The roles of other forces war politics and statecraft are legitimately I think largely left aside As others have remarked the one chapter on the Fort Erie battle during the war of 1812 seems a little forced and out of place But then military history is not something I read with pleasure in any caseShoalts also seems to be uite an interesting guy and I recommend a browse through his website after finishing this book

  9. Angel Angel says:

    A well researched compilation of both acclaimed and lesser known explorers and moments in the history of Canada Or rather Canada before it became Canada I found it to be a fun read and I appreciate the author's ability to capture this eclectic collection of events As mentioned by another review the chapter on the War of 1812 seemed somewhat out of place amongst the tales of explorers Also while I recognize that the aim of this book was not to be comprehensive I am a bit disappointed that the author didn't include details on Tecumseh along with General Brock especially since significant Indigenous figures are prominent in most other chapters The author offers a window for readers to observe Canadian history through a Eurocentric lens and does not take a critical stance on any of the explorers mentioned nor on the complex political and socioeconomic Indigenous settler relationships and tensions that rose over the timeline covered in this book Though I don't particularly see this as a negative point I'd recommend those interested in this topic to look at a previous review where this is discussed much extensively Note The hardcover has a collection of maps that have been cited by others as being missing in the proof They're printed in colour with some details beautiful maps though difficult to distinguish small details The author includes sources for each maps allowing curious readers to delve into the archives to explore the maps but ultimately the maps are of a visual bonus to accompany the writing rather than a central topic of the book

  10. Ryan Ryan says:

    This was a really neat read In each chapter Shoalts looks at a different pre confederation map of Canada and the conditions under which it was created The maps range from Leif Erikson's first map of Vinland to the maps of the Arctic produced by the Franklin expedition so there's a wide range of material drawn from With each map Shoalts takes time to present the cultural and political reasons behind each map's development in a manner that is welcoming and open to those without much Canadian history knowledgeDue to the nature of the book it's not without its limitations The book relies heavily on settler sources although it does acknowledge the role of Indigenous people in the development of the country and the map making conceit means that a lot of the political and cultural history that shaped the country is overlooked If you understand those limitations going in though it's a real treat because Shoalts' ability to relate the compelling and complex nature of Canadian history is incredible

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