Horn, Michiel Steven Daniel
: 1281997420 9786611997427 1442671203 9781442671201 9780802078407 0802008550 0802078400 9780802008558
: Toronto, [Ontario] ; Buffalo, [New York] ; London, [England] : University of Toronto Press,
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Thousands of Western European immigrants streamed into Canada after the Second World War, seeking refuge from the economic devastation of their homelands. Many sought to assimilate as quickly as possible into the Canadian mainstream. Michiel Horn, in Becoming Canadian: Memoirs of an Invisible Immigrant, shares his reflections on the process of social integration. As a Dutch immigrant to British Columbia in 1952, Horn had to make sense of the cultural demands of two worlds. Over forty years later, a professor of Canadian history, he recounts his own personal history, relating it to broader issues. 'I have tried.' he writes, 'to describe the process of assimilation as I experienced it, and to make sense of the ambivalence immigrants feel towards their adopted country and their country of origin, the sense that they belong to both yet fully to neither.'Horn's autobiography explores the story of his Dutch middle-class family and seeks to answer what it means to replace one nationality with another. He begins with his years in Holland during the Second World War, discusses his family's immigration to Canada, and explains how the family built a life for itself in Victoria. Several of the themes that run throughout the narrative relate to the often uneasy transfer of Dutch values to a Canadian context, the influence that Holland still has on Horn's life, and his own thoughts on multiculturalism as public policy in Canada. Becoming Canadian is a timely memoir, and Horn's consideration of the process of assimilation, and of his own position as an 'invisible immigrant,' is topical and revealing.