Isolation Reading for the Week of April 13

Here at UTP, we’ve decided to bring you some great books chosen by our staff for your work-from-home reading. Check in with us every Monday for some fantastic book recommendations. Mike Byer, our sales rep on the west coast, has given us his staff pick.

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My book recommendation is not a deep cut from the back catalogue that was unfortunately overlooked, nor is it a niche topic that I think more people should know about it. My recommendation is for one of UTP’s bestselling books which has won multiple awards. I think all Canadians should read Peter H. Russell’s Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests. All the important political debates we had in the Before Times – Western alienation, pipelines, the rights of Indigenous peoples – would be better informed if we had this accessible survey of Canadian history as a base. I learned why Quebec sees itself as a fortress for protecting French-Canadians even though francophone communities have always existed across the country. I now see how the horrendous errors the national government made during the Red River Rebellion set the stage for the current state of Indigenous-Settler relations. I came to understand the vision of the smart, serious politicians who have tried to make a complicated country work better – with mixed results. This is a book that lays out the most critical junctures in Canada’s past where we took the path that led to the present. Understanding our wayward wandering is going to be key to finding our way forward. The pandemic may have lowered the temperature on the hot button issues, but political conflict will always return, and the coronavirus has taught us that we could all be a bit better prepared.

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Interested in finding out more about Canada’s Odyssey? Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

Click here to purchase a copy of Canada’s Odyssey: A Country Based on Incomplete Conquests.