Bill Fraser, Mountie

Description

157 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
$10.95
ISBN 0-88999-488-9
DDC 354'.71'0074

Author

Publisher

Year

1991

Contributor

Reviewed by Steven R. Hewitt

Steven R. Hewitt is a graduate history student at the University of
Saskatchewan.

Review

Though my expectations for a book that has on its cover “He was a
stellar member of an outstanding force—the RCMP” were not
particularly high, Bill Fraser, Mountie still failed to meet them. In
doing little but haphazardly recount anecdote after anecdote, this book
reveals little of the actual man behind the uniform. For instance, there
are at least two examples of Fraser’s guilt in what today would be
considered police brutality. These incidents raise a question that the
author leaves both unasked and unanswered: how did Fraser, a stickler
for law and order, justify such actions? The implication is that this
type of behavior was, at least unofficially, sanctioned by his
superiors.

Serious issues such as racism toward Native Canadians and
anti–French-Canadian bigotry are touched on, but only in a superficial
manner before the author moves on to describe another search for
moonshiners. More in the way of research, both secondary and primary,
might have fleshed out the portrait of Fraser and the RCMP. Another
problem with the book is the editing (or lack thereof): typos,
repetition, discontinuity in paragraphs, and factual inaccuracies are
all too frequent.

Bill Fraser’s life, character, and career may indeed be worthy of
study, but one would not know that from reading this book.

Citation

MacLean, R.A., “Bill Fraser, Mountie,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 29, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/12469.