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Kilian, Crawford.

Vancouver, New Star Books, c1985. 241pp, paper, ISBN 0-919573-50-9 (cloth) $12195, 0-919573-51-7 (paper) $4.95. CIP

Reviewed by William Benson

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

Crawford Kilian has produced an interesting, but depressing book. As a teacher myself, I found it very interesting to see the last several years of education bashing so clearly laid out, but at the same time it brought back too many memories of what those years were really like for those of us who were trying to carry on with the jobs we had been hired for.

Kilian was involved in the struggle he has written about, as an elected trustee, a college instructor, a parent, and a columnist for the Province newspaper. As such, he naturally developed his own biases and this book is an expression of them. If the book can be said to be flawed in any way, this is it. It is a passionate book by a man who was involved and who has reacted in anger against the treatment we all received.

The book is well researched and well documented. It even includes a "Source Notes" section at the end to document the sources for his information. He analyses not only the various struggles during the past four years, but looks at the education system in British Columbia from the 1920s until now. His ambition knows no bounds, as he even attempts to fathom the Social Credit Party's education policy. Separate chapters are included to discuss not only what the government was doing to the schools, but to the curriculum, the colleges, and the universities as well. Further spice is added to the book by the appropriate placing of cartoons by Krieger that bring Kilian's various points home with sledge hammer thoroughness.

I recommend this book for all British Columbians, especially those who have sat in passive silence during the past four years. It is also highly recommended for anyone with school-age children who is thinking about moving to our wonderful province.

William Benson, Alexander Park School, Golden, B.C.
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