- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: UPNE; 1st edition (March 15, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0874513596
- ISBN-13: 978-0874513592
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The French-Canadian Heritage in New England 1st Edition
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Brault's family history and vignettes are comfortably nestled inside this book, many illustrating customs that other families attend to, but may not know the origins. For example his family has their own Christmas Eve liturgy "followed by midnight mass and a réveillon." Many books I've read begin by discussing the hardships and discrimination and this one is no exception. Census information can be spotty because for every one who arrived and stayed, one left to go back home. Statistical information focuses from provincial origins from 1608-1765 on up to 1980 where we see a state-by-state breakout of New England French ancestry.
There are numerous informative statistical charts, yet most of the book is conversational in nature, something that lends greatly to the readability. The book concentrates on a broad-based social history of the Franco-American in New England rather than the more narrowly focused work of the Violettes from Maine (privately published). In this regard it is of more interest to a wider readership. It begins with the Franco-American roots, swings to the immigration phases (1865-1920 and 1920 to 1960), and wends its way up to the 1980s. The topics (primarily taken from the table of contents), minus several historical vignettes specific to the Brault family include:
* Turn of the century culture
* The language (distinguishes French from France as opposed to that in Canada and New England)
* The background or reasons for the immigration to New England
* The social and economic conditions
* Labor problems
* Social classes
* Stereotypical view of Franco-Americans by others
* Credit Unions
* The Repatriation Movement
* Some disasters (textile mill accidents, fires)
* Cultural revival
Although this book could have easily become an unreadable tome, it instead became a delightful history. It does, however, become appreciably academic when one looks at the wealth of source notes and extensive bibliography. These two sources alone would make it a genealogical dream for someone wanting to research their heritage. In addition there are black and white photographs and an excellent index. Regardless of the reason for purchase, this is a well-written book that would be an excellent addition to your shelves.