An Intimate History of New Brunswick


154 pages
ISBN 0-7710-8607-5




Reviewed by Richard Wilbur

Randall White is the author of Voice of Region: On the Long Journey to
Senate Reform in Canada, Too Good to Be True: Toronto in the 1920s, and
Global Spin: Probing the Globalization Debate.


When I first reviewed this readable and personal treatment of New Brunswick past and present, I gave it full marks. A rereading of the reprint 13 years later left me almost as enthusiastic even though some references current in 1970 are now somewhat dated. Trueman is a skilled and often witty storyteller, and his Intimate History should continue to delight the general reader and especially New Brunswick’s visitors, his intended target. What Trueman, a retired newspaper editor, has done is to re-work most of New Brunswick’s history chestnuts, brightening them up with make-believe dialogue which does not detract from either the story or the historic flavour. Much of his anecdotal account is taken from the pre-Confederation era, and a more accurate title would contain the word “southern.” Trueman’s Saint John roots show repeatedly as he skillfully retells tales of people and places along the Fundy coast. A useful chapter describing “the Amazing Comeback” of the Acadians sees them almost get sidetracked as Trueman digresses with stories about the exploits of an Acadian priest among the Indians during the Revolutionary War. The other chapters in this historical potpourri also reveal the author’s eclectic approach and his whimsical style. American tourists visiting New Brunswick will love it and would appreciate this Intimate History even more if it had just one map and a short index.


Trueman, Stuart, “An Intimate History of New Brunswick,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,