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.