Advanced Search

Add Best Comp

Add comparable title

Remove comparable title

Biblioasis Fall 2021

By (author): Cecil Foster
Cecil Foster





Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Feb 07, 2023
$24.95 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 0.78 in | 1 gr
HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)
History of the Americas|Migration, immigration and emigration|Ethnic studies|Human rights, civil rights|Citizenship and nationality law|Social and cultural history|Relating to peoples: ethnic groups, indigenous peoples, cultures, tribes and other groupings of people|Relating to African American people

Transnationalist Cecil Foster explores the origins, legacy, and potential of Canadian multicultural policy. 

From the beginning of colonial settlement in the Americas, multiculturalism has symbolized a deeply held yearning by all humanity for freedom. It was at the heart of the Civil War and Canadian Confederation in 1867. But until the 1970s, this yearning for a socially just society was consistently suppressed. Peoples of colour were denied citizenship in the White Man’s Country, the highest achievement of the American Dream and a Manifest Destiny. But fifty years ago this year, Canada took a big step to break with this sordid past and to grasp for a new future by embracing a policy of multiculturalism that would see Canadians open their country to the rest of the world, and to life itself.

Five decades into this journey, Canada is still grasping for greatness, not as a white homeland carved out of stolen aboriginal lands, but now as a home for peoples of the world. But can Canada, as an example to Americas, ever be free of past illusions of greatness and its heavy baggage? Is multiculturalism simply white supremacy in disguise?

  • For readers interested in social and racial justice, the history of civil rights in North America, immigration issues, and the myth of Canadian exceptionalism.
  • While Canadian federal policy is Foster’s primary subject, he argues that the Civil War continues to impact Black life across the continent and the Canada and the US are twin brothers in the historic drama of European colonialism and imperialism.
  • The first of its kind: while academic publications have addressed multiculturalism in Canada, this is the first book written for general readers on the subject.
  • Foster's They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada was a national bestseller and widely covered by print and broadcast media.
  • Foster is a professor of Transnational Literature at SUNY-Buffalo and divides his time between Buffalo and Toronto.

Cecil Foster is internationally acclaimed author and public intellectual in the areas of multiculturalism, race, ethnicity, immigration and social identities. His fiction captures in particular the human condition of Black and immigrant peoples in the Americas. A leading expert on multiculturalism, Foster is quoted extensively in popular and social media and his work is widely referenced in academic and mainstream publications globally. Foster speaks frequently on multiculturalism and related topics, primarily in Canada and the United States, relating these topics to peoples of Caribbean descent living in North America. Foster’s most recent book is the best-selling They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porter and the Birth of Modern Canada—a subject for the recently announced groundbreaking series by CBC TV and BET+ streaming. Foster is a professor of transnational studies at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York and splits his residences between Buffalo and Toronto.

  • Print run: 5,000 copies
  • Co-op available
  • Advance reader copies
  • Edelweiss digital review copies
  • National TV & radio campaign
  • National print media campaign
  • Online and social media campaign
  • E-book available at same time as print edition
  • Virtual launch and festival appearances
  • Excerpts and editorials in Washington Times, Toronto Star

For more information contact
[email protected]

Praise for They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada

"Foster had the courage to examine the realities of race in this country long before it was commonplace to do so...Canadian multiculturalism rests on the shoulders of the sleeping car porters." —Globe and Mail

"In [They Call Me George] ...Foster aims to restore the identities of the Black men who once worked on Canadian railroads. In the process, he also excavates a chapter of Canadian history that has been largely erased from the collective memory: the role that Black train porters played in furthering social justice and shaping Canada into the country it is today." —Toronto Star

"Foster has dissected the myth of Canadian tolerance, born of our history as a haven for refugee slaves—exposing instead a past in which the English and French elites fought to create a white nation...Blacks and other Canadians of colour are not merely the beneficiaries of multiculturalism; they are its architects." —Donna Bailey Nurse, Literary Review of Canada

"Informative and well-written...We owe a debt of gratitude to [the porters], and to Foster for his masterful and insightful research and writing." Daily Nation (Barbados)

"An excellent, well-written, and historically accurate volume." —UK Barbados Nation

"A bold book by a self-assured scholar who has rewritten our conventional history...says Foster: 'This important piece of Canadian history has yet to be fully told.' They Call Me George is [his] effort to do just that." —Winnipeg Free Press

"Mr. Foster’s well-written book about black train porters contains a wealth of information that is illuminating, revealing and, at times, disappointing. The beauty of the Canadian railroad had its ugly side, too." —Washington Times

Praise for Cecil Foster

"Cecil Foster is a wise man with a flair for storytelling and writing that enters the heart.” —Quill & Quire (Starred Review)

“Foster’s story of a West Indies community in transition is a marvelous read, filled with humour, sorrow, and wit, and told with the deft and gentle touch of a master storyteller.” —Thomas King

“Cecil Foster kicks up one hell of a class-war fuss and proves he’s got stuff enough to show those mediocre storytellers how it’s really done... Unforgettable.” —Toronto Star

“I don’t know when I’ve read a more evocative book about black men. Read it and you will see the world differently.” —Vancouver Sun

“Foster brings historical depth to his work and shows that the social and political recognition of blackness and multiculturalism is itself a contingent moment in history.” —George Dei, University of Toronto

of 18

Also Available

They Call Me George Cecil Foster 9781771962612 $22.95 CAD Feb 05, 2019

Forgotten Password

Please enter your email address and click submit. An email with instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Forgotten Password

An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.