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Book Review
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SOC 214 Clearing the Plains Book Review Assignment (Book Review Sample)


The book review is expected to be no more than 5 pages (1250 words) in length. The purpose of the book review is to allow students to critically examine the book Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk. Please follow the suggestions at the following link when writing your review. http://www(dot)trentu(dot)ca/history/workbook/bookreviews.php The book review is worth 30% of your final mark.

Clearing the Plains
There are quite a number of books that have come before detailing the history of the aboriginal people and the relevance to the Canadian history. However, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life, is a book by James Daschuk a professor at the University of Regina in Kinesiology and Health studies (Daschuk, 2013). The book details some of the most horrors that the First nation people had to endure with the coming of the European to Canada, some of which paint a grim picture of the country's history. There have been quite a number of books in the past that have detailed the element of aggression and victims of the European invasion of Canada. Most of the historiographies detail the framework of the colonizers, their vile strategies on the people and the subsequent rise of the people against the First Nation people (Woolford, 2016). This is a history that most readers would not be comfortable with relative to the cruelties that have been detailed as having been directed at the First Nation communities such as the Nakota, Niitsitapi, Nehiyawak, Anishinaabe and the Dakota (Daschuk, 2013). James however, brings to a readers a deeper understanding of the shameful history that Canada has relative to the dehumanizing strategies used on the aboriginal people. Currently, James Daschuk is an associate professor at the University of Regina within the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. He has made some inroads in the field of environmental changes relative to the health of the indigenous people as part of his passion and focus professionally (Daschuk, 2013). He has thus been keen on the role that disease has played, along with climate changes and the historical developments within the western Canada. Other than the current book that is under review, James has also published some other works of late among them, "Treaties and Tuberculosis: First Nations People in Late 19th Century Western Canada, A Political and Economic Transformation", "An Examination of Common and Contested Ground: A Human and Environmental History of the Northwestern Plains" and "A Dry Oasis: The Northern Great Plains in Late Prehistory". In this book, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life, James vividly brings out some of the vile nature of the European policies in light of the way that they dehumanized the First Nation communities. He points to the point of disease and punitive policies that led to deaths and severe hardships for the Aboriginal people in Canada from the late 1700s to the early 1900s (Daschuk, 2013). It is largely excusable that the author does not bring out the element of religion and the role it played, given that the author is very thorough in explaining the various ways that the European dehumanized the Aboriginal communities turning them into savages (, 2016).
Key Arguments
This is a book that is both a devastating read and one that is also harrowing. In the book the author brings out the various and detailed ways that the Aboriginal communities in Canada lost their culture and were subjected to insurmountable dehumanization strategies by the European in the quest to colonize them and the lands. There is an overarching narrative that is tied to the European use of disease and the element of dispossession (Daschuk, 2013). This is a common aspect to most of the scholars within this field, however, James uses a rather open and vivid approach.
A closer look at the presentation of the arguments in the book is quite organized. The ideas are connected in a manner that the readers are able to follow, from the historical significances to the reflective arguments on the dark era of the European invasion (Harp, 2016). In the first five chapters of t...
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