The Concise Historical Atlas of Canada is a beautiful record of Canada's peoples and development. The book combines text and graphic material to create an extraordinarily rich picture of Canada's past, and presents a splendid visual record of the roots of our society and the evolution of the intensely regional, culturally diverse nation we know today. Based on the best-selling three-volume Historical Atlas of Canada, the Concise distills the best and most important plates into a single, comprehensive, thematically organized volume. It represents more than 20 years of collaborative effort between highly accomplished cartographers and a wide range of scholars. The goal of the Concise Historical Atlas of Canada is simple: to summarize Canadian history from prehistory through to the latter part of the twentieth century. To accomplish this goal, the editors selected 67 plates from the nearly 200 plates found in the full set. Each plate is a double-page spread of maps, graphics, legends, and text on a single subject or theme, and is accompanied by a bibliographical note at the end of the volume. Collectively, the plates represent both the crucial events and the continuity of life that made Canada. The editors intend their selection to mirror the social and economic experiences of ordinary people more than the political and military activities associated with individual heroes. While the plates selected from the full three-volume set are used without modification, the Concise Historical Atlas of Canada follows its own organizational structure. Plates have been grouped under three headings: 'National Perspectives,' 'Defining Episodes,' and 'Regional Patterns,' each with a new introductory essay. 'National Perspectives' gives overarching views of the land mass and the process of nation building. Among the topics covered are prehistoric and Native Canada, exploration, the establishment of boundaries, settlement and population patterns, and the development of transportation, urbanization, the economy, and society. 'Defining Episodes' refers to important historical events such as dramatic migrations, wars, and depressions - turning points of national importance. 'Regional Patterns' focuses on smaller parts of the Canadian experience, presents specific case studies of historical trends, and considers events and developments in greater detail over limited periods. The Concise Historical Atlas of Canada is a unique tribute to our history and a significant contribution to Canadians' understanding of one another. It provides a comprehensive overview of the life of ordinary people, one that can as usefully be read for pleasure as for research. Fully cross-referenced, it also serves as a guide to the three-volume set enabling readers to pursue topics of special interest in greater depth.
'It's far more than maps, charts, tables, and graphs. Sidebar essays illuminate the diverse data, for example, of Indian treaties and reservations, of agricultural expansion, mining exploration, and forest usage, of transport infrastructure and competence, of manufacturing and merchandising progress, of urban growth and variations in ethnic, religious, and linguistic profiles of the country and its regions. A stimulating blockbuster.'
- Douglas Fisher - Toronto Star
'It must be in every library, and it should be in every home.'
- Tom Oleson - Winnipeg Free Press
'An accessible up-to-date interpretation of our country's history through maps and graphs.'
- Joy Fielding - Chatelaine
'A thing of beauty and a mine of information.'
- James Stewart - Montreal Gazette
'This is a splendid accomplishment. The scholarship is impeccable. The maps are beautiful and the design is first-rate. Everything is done with imaginative flair.'
- Donald Swainson - Kingston Whig-Standard
'The series is a magnificent compilation of graphs, charts, paintings, and scholarship. It took more than 500 people, from support staff to experts, from across Canada, managed out of a fluorescent-lit basement at the University of Toronto, almost two decades to do.'
- Val Ross - The Globe and Mail
'If you think of an atlas as a collection of conventional maps, this book will make your head spin.'
- Don Cayo - Saint John Telegraph-Journal
'An awesome achievement, a cartographic masterpiece in which one can easily get lost.'
- James Adams - Edmonton Journal
'The text, the pictures, the diagrams and charts are welcome tools for teachers and should be part of every school library.'
- Al Jantzi - Canadian Social Studies: The History and Science Teacher
'This is no ordinary atlas, full of boilerplate information on provincial boundaries, capital cities, and transportation routes. It is not still-life cartography; it is dynamic, designed to convey "changing socio-economic patterns over time in the lives of ordinary people."'
- Duncan McDowall - Canadian Geographic
'What sets the book in a class of its own is the astonishingly diverse areas that it addresses.'
- Maclean's Magazine
'A major publishing event, a cartographic milestone and a new chapter in the exploration of Canadian history and geography.'
- Brian Banks - Equinox
'A beautifully designed book, this atlas is an essential contribution to North American history.'
- College & Research Libraries News
'The sheer complexity of the undertaking, range of topics, depth of scholarship, revelation of detail, and ingenuity of presentation all continue to impress.'
- D.W. Meinig - Canadian Historical Review
Geoffrey J. Matthews was Chief Cartographer at the University of Toronto for more than thirty years, until his retirement in 1993. He was cartographer for twenty previous atlases, including all three volumes of the Historical Atlas of Canada, as well as the Economic Atlas of Ontario, which won the Leipzig Award for the most beautiful book in the world in 1970. Byron Moldofsky is a graduate in geography and cartography of the University of Toronto and Queen's University. He has spent the past sixteen years as a cartographer and Production Co-ordinator with the Atlas project. William G. Dean is Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, University of Toronto. He and John Warkentin first discussed the Historical Atlas of Canada project in 1968, and Dean was appointed director of the original Organizing Committee in 1970. He has been the director of the Atlas project since its formal beginning in 1979. Conrad Heidenreich is a professor in the Department of Geography, York University. He was a member of the editorial board for volume I of the Historical Atlas of Canada. Thomas F. McIlwraith is a professor in the Department of Geography at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He is a member of the original Organizing Committee and served as co-ordinator for the Concise Historical Atlas of Canada. He is the author of Looking for Old Ontario.