Canada, the world agrees, is a success story. We should never make the mistake, though, of thinking that it was easy or foreordained. At crucial moments during Canada's story, challenges had to be faced and choices made. Certain roads were taken and others were not. Imagine a Canada, indeed imagine a North America, where the French and not the British had won the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Or imagine in a world in which Canadians had decided to throw in their lot with the revolutionaries in the 13 colonies.
This series looks at the making of Canada as an independent, self-governing nation. It includes works on key stages in the laying of the foundations as well as the crucial turning points between 1867 and the present that made the Canada we know today. It is about those defining moments when the course of Canadian history and the nature of Canada itself were oscillating. It is about the human beings—heroic, flawed, wise, foolish, complex—who had to make decisions without knowing what the consequences might be.
We have chosen these important episodes in Canadian history partly because they are good stories in themselves but also because they show what Canada was like at a particularly important moment in its history. And to tell them we have chosen Canada's best historians. Our authors are great storytellers who shine a spotlight on a different Canada, a Canada of the past. and illustrate the links from then to now. We need to remember the roads that were taken—and the ones that were not. Our goal is to make readers understand how we got from that past to this present.