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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 22, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta -Wednesday, Decembtr 22, THE LETHBRIDOE HERAID 5 Book reviews The early discoverers of North America "The EuroiH'an Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages" by Saninrl Kliot Morison (Oxford University Press, 712 pages, O.MB1NIKG great e r u cl i- tion with experience, Sam- uel Eliot Morison has produced a book that is both educational and entertaining. The author was a member of the faculty of Harvard University from 1915 until his retirement in 1955. During Hie Second World War he was an admiral in the United Stales Navy and saw action at sea. He lias made transatlantic voyages under sail, and coasted the eastern shores of the U.S. and Canada. In preparation for this book lie not only did library research and special study of early maps but he flew "at low alti- tude in a small plane identify- ing almost every place men- tioned by the discoverers. The result is a book in which the reader can have a great deal of confidence. Those who ordinarily shun the reading of notes need to IK advised not to do so in the case of this took. Admittedly some of the notes are simply scholar- ly apparatus but sown through them are most interesting bits of information and amusing ob- servations. Besides, it is in the notes that, the aulhor's impres- sive credentials become most apparent. Beginning with the sea-going Irish monks, A.D., Ad- miral Morison sifts from the fantasy some truth about their explorations but docs not credit them with reaching America. The first European visitors to America were the Norsemen (not to be called Vikings who were marauders not explorers) who settled briefly at L'Andse aux Meadows in Newfound- land. Five centuries later John Cabot arrived at nearly the same p'ace Leif Ericsson had tried to establish his colony in .1001. In the IGlh century came the voyages of Verrazzano, Gilbert and Davis. Ending the volume arc the stories of (lie two attempts to establish colonies in Virginia with which Walter Raleigh was associated. Interspersed among the chapters on voyages there are others dealing with ship-build- ing, navigational equipment, food, sea customs and fishing. There is also a chapter on false voyages dealing with such per- sistent belief as the one about Welsh colonists in pre-Colum- bian days. To all tales about pre-Columbian voyages to Am- erica except those of the Norsemen to Newfoundland Admiral Morison gives the back of his hand. Commenting on the extensive literature on travelers discovering Ameri- can Indians who were fluent in some European oc Asiastic lan- guage he says, "Uneducated travelers were apt to regard every Indian language as gib- berish, and so compared it with some known language such as Welsh, Basque, Hebrew or Finnish, Uiat was also gib- berish to them." A reviewer in the New York Times Book Review supple- ment complains that Admiral Morison docs not deal with cur- tent1 theories that Mediter- ranean peoples may have voy- aged to America. The book is about northern voyages so this is not something that should have been expected. Neverthe- less, in the notes on the first chapter there are comments about the "Phoenician dis- of America" which gave the reviewer the excuse to ask for a more extended dis- cussion. Admiral Morison ob- viously thinks the notion of Phoenician discoverers is base- less despite Professor Cyrus II. Gordon's attempt to give it credibility (Before Columbus, reviewed" in The Herald, Au- gust 28, 1971) I think Admiral Morison did give his opinion about Mediterranean people sailing the Atlantic. He said, "I confess I am rather tired of 'blown across the Atlantic' hy- potheses." The fakery and foolishness associated with the notion that: Norsemen got farther than Newfoundland is thoroughly ex- posed. The Newport tower has been proved by archaeological investigation to have been erected as a windmill in 1675 bv Benedict Arnold, governor of Rhode Island. An alle.ecd of the "tiresome historical 111- runic signature of Leif Erics- craturc" that is being ttTitten son on a boulder on a beach by people seeking academic near Martha's Vineyard has promotion and says that "so- been found lo be a 20th century -called learned journals are al- fakc. Also a fraud is the Ken- together loo hospitable to these singlon stone "found'' near Kensing t o n, Minnesota. "Nev- w rites Admiral Morison, "there will always be people who believe that the Vi- kings tramped all over North America, shedding implements, bailie-axes, and runic inscrip- tions." Admiral Morison Although doesn't make a big thing of ii, the attitude of European ex- plorers to the native people is something he finds reprehen- sible. So lacking in liumanitar- ianism were most of the Eu- ropeans that if the native peo- ple showed signs of fear it was good evidence that the latest arrivals had been preceded by their own kind. Even as good a man as Jacques Cartier was gui'fy of the discreditable deed of kidnapping Chief Donnacon- na, his two sons, and other na- tives and taking them back to France. It seems almost in- credible that our European forebears expected to bo able to settle in the new world with- out reprisal for the cruelty and treachery practised on the In- dians. Some allowance perhaps can be made for the fact that hu- man life generally was held to be fairly cheap. It is appalling to read about the abandonment of people in harsh environ- ments. Many of the earliest settlers and sailors were forced into their roles and were ill- eqnipped for the rigors of the life, involved. The exception seems to have been "gromets" or ships' boys who made up part of the complement of most vessels. These were brash youngsters looking for adven- ture. Colin Machines in his Times review comments, "Se- nior citizens of today, who ful- minate against the goings-on of teen-agers, should perhaps re- member that without such madcap juveniles, the New World might never have been found." At. the very outset Admiral Morison complains about some effusions." A little later he rc- lurns to this complaint and says these people suffer from two handicaps. They do not have a classical education and so find the learning of foreign languages so useful in doing research difficult. And they have no experience of life at sea which would save them from writing the nonsense they do about the early voyages. The lack of sea sense tends to make some "scholars" insuf- ficiently skeptical of old maps. Admiral Morison saves some of his choicest sarcasm for the way early map makers sowed the seas with imaginary is- lands and would move them to other spots when the first po- sitions were sailed over. He thinks cartoonist work regularly appears in The Herald comes close to the truth with his portrayal of a monk working on a map in a scripiorum, saying to one of the brothers, "I think I'll throw in a couple of extra islana- just for Another favorite target for jabs are the English. Com- menting on (he naming of New- foundland he says. "With English, once a thing is new. it always remains new, like- Ox- ford's New College, and New York." After relating thp tour- ist voyage of Richard I lore to Newfoundland in 35M when supplies ran short and parole resorted to cannibalism, the Admiral asks, "why, in Heav- ens name, could not the Eng- lishmen have supported life from sea-fowl and This is a splendid book, abiui- dantly illustrated, full of facts made fresh by the frank criti- cisms and comments of the au- thor. I hated to have it come to an end but was consoled by the knowledge that Admiral Morison is at work on a sim- ilar volume on the Southern Voyages. It be awaited with eagerness. DOUG WALKER. Not in McCarthy style "B i r s iif America: a novel" by Mary McCarthy (Harconrt Brace Jnvanovich; 344 pages, distributed by Longman Canada pETER LEVI is unsophis- ticated adolescent, rich in intellect but very short indeed in social experience. He is deeply attached to his eccen- tric independent musician mother, who has her own uni- quely individual ideas about life, love and the mother-son relationship. They don't coin- cide with the norm, nor does Peter. He wants to live his life according to the dictates of Kant, and this gets him into all kinds of transcendcntalist expe- rience first in an idyllic holi- day with his mother in New England, and later as he pur- sues, somewhat erratically, his studies in France. He is the naive child ventur- ing into the sophisticated world, interpreting it in his own I FT, .1 Wrap Up her dream of a Christmas gift, THE GOLDEN TOUCH SEW! The special Christmas price on very special model 750 is enough to make EVERYBODY happy! YOU save...and SHE gels the machine with no less lhan 32 time-saving automatic a built-in buttonholer, built-in AND interchangeable Fashion' Discs (or an infinite variety of practical and decora- tive stitch patterns AND FI Discs for flexible slitches, "Off Suggested Retail price SINGER STYLIST'ZIGZAG! You can't imagine how delighted she'll be owning her own Zig-Zag Sewing Machine, loaded with exclusive Singer features, that does STRETCH STITCHING! That's Singer's new Stylist! And it comes complete with a beautiful walnut finished Shcrbrooke Cabinet at this lioliday price. The Singer Stylist Stretch Stilch Zig 2ag leatures 11 interchangeable Flexi-Stitch and Fashion Discs ioo! What a special way to wrap up that gift" problem. SPECIAL STOCKING STUFFERS FROM ONLY wilh a L own. QIC Maks Ihe "litlla" lady on your list iis happy as mother itllo Touch Sew all lier ONLY S6? fig Driir Electric Scissors, regularly S99S, are the fastest cleanest, easiRsl way to do and are s beautiful way to keeprrvery sewing need right at tisnd! ail your cullmq. Powerful, but liqlit In handle, pnir Electric Scissors cut through two or thma thicknesses of most fabrics easily, with durable high quality Stainless Steel Blades, AND SINGER WILL GIFT WRAP YOUR PURCHASE...FREE! SINGER MERRY CHRISTMAS CENTERS fJ IM Snow fiompfny "T Ctnvti LU. USE THE EASY SINGER CREDIT PLAN AND SEE THE YELLOW PAGES FOR THE SINGER CENTER NEAREST YOU. preconceived terms, which re- duce the complicated to simple terms of reference. It's all a kind of picaresque journey in dreams, Peter is .Miss Mc- Carthy's innocent abroad, a kind" of 20th century Candide according to the dust jacket writer, whose enthusiasm for the novel I cannot share. tt is a tragic-comedy hardly in the McCarthy traditional acid style. Peter and his mum struck no responsive chord in me, which is probably due tn my own lack of interpretative ability rather than to Miss Mo- Carthy's subtle approach to the social problems of our time. JANE HL'CKVALE. Faded star "The Supremo" by Irving (MacCrae Smith, distributed by George J. Mc- Leod HE stars, Uie heroes, or what-you-will of the Sec- ond World War faded rather rapidly from the scene. "All the world's a stage." but that particular one was quite over- crowded. However, it does no harm to recall a star or two and burn- ish the famish which time and neglect have placed on the glit- ter. One star of that stage was Lord Louis Prince Louis of Battenberg and as good a German as any who wore British uniform and sail- ed in an English ship. In less than one hundred and forty pages of good-sized print, Mr. Irving Werstein skims the surface of sixty years of Brit- ish Empire history, doing an excellent job of journalistic writing. His book, though only a little one by comparison, is very readable. The chapters are short; the style has a ten- dency to be rapid and staccato; the facts and figures are there. The writer keeps the hero, Mountbatten, before the reader at all times, only occasionally raising the legs of his long pants (o show what just might bo traces of clay feet. For those who have lived through those years and for others who see history from another side, this book serves to stir the memories. Such readers know fact from fiction, or think they do, and they can read over, under and between the lines. Mr. Werstein's work- help to re-focus minds on half a century of human error and folly which was mixed wilh great gobs of human bravery. The book can easily be read in one evening. LOUIS BURKE. Books In brief "William IAOH Mdvenzie" by David Flint (Oxford Uni- versity Tress, ifiO TN his book aboul McKenzie, Flint sets down a his- tnrirally accurate story on the f i rov newspaperman. McKcn- 7-io, who like Straohan, was bom in Scotland, emigrating to Canada in his early twenties. Upon arriving in Upper Can- ada, MeKenzie immediately set up a newspaper wliicli for Ihe most part, he wrote himself. His journalism was based on the nncdIc which jabbed con- tim.'ously flt I ho Establishment (Toronto) in order lo make- the plifilil of Ihe ordinary laborers and farmers known. Ho won considerable support, from Ibis rieincnt and was eventually circled to the, legislative As- sembly. Hul lie was highly ag- gressive and didn't know whore to draw line. His uprising against British rule lost him much popularity. A good book rri a iT.'il elirir.'it'ler of rlian pinnecr AlAKUAUET LUCK1IURST Our national treasures TIic Hamilton Spectator Department of the Secretary of Slate has taken on a difficult bill not impossible task in studying legislation to keep valuable Canadian artifacts in Can- ada. Yd a nation with a growing awareness of the worth of its historical treasures can- not afford to sit idle while the relics of its heritage vanish into foreign collections. The tangible, meaningful mementos of the nation's origins, its sacrifices and achieve- ments, should not be allowed to slip away without first taking Canada's interests into account. Though some communities have dwelt in historical consciousness for generations, a national awakening didn't surface until when Canadians, as a people; looked with genuine interest and pride to the roots of the nation. The Centennial year brought home to Canadians that theirs is a long and proud liistory. Knowing their history as never tie- fore, seeing it brought to life in pageants, restored buildings, re-enactments of events, Canadians learned that Ihis is no longer a colony or a refuge for peoples of other nations, but a nation with a heart and soul of its own, a unique and distinct na- tional entity. And the artifacts of the native peoples, the explorers, the habitants, the traders and trappers, the. Canadian campaign vet- erans of centuries past, the Loyalists, the Prairie settlers, the picneer missionaries, merchants, industrialists the builders of this nation are an integral part of mod- ern Canada's being. The astonisliing popularity of pioneer vil- lages and restored historical and the proliferation of Canadian museums are clear evidence of Canada's interest in her past. The artifacts of the past belong in Canada. This country' doesn't have artifacts to crin-pare with the antiquity of those in na- tions, which, already, have established pro- tective legislation. Egypt, France, Turkey and Italy, for example have inherited the relics of civilizations many times older than ours. But, like a Phidian sculpture of 450 B.C., an Upper Canadian spinning wheel of 1850 A.D. can only be copied, it can't be re- produced. No duplicate can command the importance of the genuine original. In drafting law to keep Canadian arti- facts in Canada, Ottawa has to try to draw a realistic line separating items essential to a useful display of local history and which coiild subject to export witlinut depriving Canadians. It will be a controversial line. However, some attempt should be made to preserve for Canadians the few surviving mementos of the people and events that created, developed and defended Canada. Deprived of rights The Winnipeg Free Press rPHE case of 32 Qucbecers who are liv- ing in a judicial limbo as a result of the War Measures Act is nearly as tragic as the teiTorisf crisis which prompted the federal government to invoke such string- ent legislation. Airesled and charged with offences under the Act, they are being denied a basic right of all Canadian citi- zens: that of a trial to prove Iheir guill or innonence. The Quebec government, which under the BNA Act has UK responsibility for admin- istering federal justice within its borders, recently indicated again that it has no in- tention of proceeding with their trials. The plight of the 32 Quebecers is the result of a legal procedure known as "nolle which was invoked by the provincial justice department in August. It suspends all acticn in the cases of the 32; but Ihc charges have not been dropped and there is no indication thai the trials will ever lake place. What has rcsulled instead of prosecu- tions, is a type of persecution with 32 people free on bail but condemned to live in society as accused criminals with the resulting effects on careers and social life. Their fate was pointed up again when Quebec Justice Minister .Icrome Choquetle announced that he has no intention of fa- cilitating compensation procedures for those whose cases are "nolle prosequi." They will thus have no recourse to the financial compensation which the Quebec government has already awarded to 75 peo- ple arrested under the War Measures Act, but never convicted of any illegal actr Nor will they be able lo benefit from t' non-financial assistance. Mich as letter stating thtt an individual has been cleared of any suspicions of terrorist activity or support which has been given to another 400 people. Mr. Cboquette has explained that it was not lack of evidence that has prevented the government from taking action. Rather was because the federal government did not renew the Public Order Bill succes- sor to the War Measures Act it expired April ,10. He added that the "nolle prosequi" procedure has "a certain ambi- guity that undoubtedly should be cleared up by the federal legislature." Some nationalist spokesmen in Quebec have suggested that the government does not want to proceed with prosecutions be- cause, while it may have some evidence against the accused it does not have the documentation that would result in convic- tions in a court of law. If may be that the Quebec authorities are convinced of the involvement of the 32 and arc unwilling to drop the charges against them for that reason. But surely the onus, within the framework of justice in Canada, is upon the Quebec authorities to take action either to bring the 32 to trial or to drop the charges. Whatever the legalities of the matter, 32 Canadian citizens who reside in Quebec are being denied a basic right. ERIC NICOL Cocktail party capers "IJOW do you I said to the lady who had introduced herself at the cocktail party. "Wliat do you me-aiv 'How do you she demanded. She cupped the glass in her hand like a grenade. I said. "The games people play. How can two people have meaningful communication if you say things like 'How do you I felt my lips dry up and crack under the heat of her honesty. She was not a bad-looking woman. Approaching middle age but watching lor the bypass. Married, I guessed. Her husband resting comfort- ably on a coat hanger in the hall. She said "Why do we waste our time speaking empty phrases? I am a human being. You are a human being.'' "Thank I said, honestly grateful. A worm that was that I suspected I was. I slopped wriggling and laughed. Man is the only animal that laughs. "Don't said the woman. "Social laughter is the mask Iwhind which we hide our true feelings.'' I stopped laughing. 1 let my true feeling shine through. Hatred. 1 hated her, how 1 hated her. My nose quivered like a dagger stuck into her sternum. "Good, you hate said the "And 1 hate yon. I've always hated you, even before 1 met you! Now we both hate each ether. We have- something we can share." "If feels T snarled. "Tell me how much you hate me. Get it nut of your system." "1 halo 1 .viid, wishing I could remember her name. I am very bad at remembering names. Whoever she was she said: "Expressing your anger is Uie first step towards attaining emotional maturity. Only after we purge cur hostility can we learn to love one another." What I wanted to attain was the bar. I asked: "Can I get you another glass of "You're trying to manipulate she said. "I I checked on the location of my hands. They were minding their own business, making knuckles. "You are using withdrawal as pseudo- accommodation. Tills is a passive aggres- sive behavior typical of the manipulative technique." "Well, how about some I said, offering Ihe bowl. "I'm beginning to doubt that you are sincere about wanting to establish a thou- thou she said. "Thon can say that I said. "If you examine the real me you'll find it's a fake." Th.e woman looked at me severely, and said: "Who runs ycur encounter "I don't belong to an encounter group." I said. "1 lake group therapy with a grain of fiestalt." The woman walked away. Irailmg a faint cloud of biopolarity. An elderly lady came over to me and said: "Ili. Isn't it nwful weather we're hav- I seized her in my arms and kksod her. "You're ir.y kind of woman, I told her. She hit mo, of course, but I've learned lo recognise creative n.nflict when 1 meet it al a parly. (Vancouver Province Features) ;