Steckley, J. (2007). White lies about the inuit. 1st ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division.
The title of the book reveals the attitude of the author to the stereotypes that existed for many years. John Steckley confessed that he also became a victim of the stereotypes fostered by academic literature and other “reliable” sources of information.
The narrative style is simple and typical for a book. The narration is performed from a third person. The style of the author matches the subject material. The narration is typical for any other text-book.
The main strength of this book is that it added to the myth-destroying literature and contributed to the fight with racism and other anti-social phenomenon. The weakness of the book was that the author framed what a reader should know after reading each chapter. A reader should decide by himself when and how to arrive to a certain conclusion. The best feature of the book was that it showed that people inclined to create stereotypes and how an opinion of one person can influence the opinion of thousands of people.
The book succeeded to reach the main goal: not to trust secondary sources of information even if they are called “scholarly”. If there is a problem, it is better to gather information from multiple sources and analyze it taking into account all opinions that exist. The author showed that sometime people are ill-informed and make their judgments based on the opinion of someone else who sometimes does not know much or intentionally misinform audience.
The book will definitely make positive impact on achieving equality between people of all nations and ethnicities. The book teaches the reader not to be judgmental and trust only primary sources of information. It may shock the readers who feel difficulties in changing their preconceptions. Someone can teach to listen to other people and understand their style of life, traditions, and language.
I agree with the conclusion of the book that people have to listen to each other and be more loyal to the differences we have. Canada is a multinational country, as well as U.S., and many scholars make attempts to smooth misunderstanding that arise from different cultures and style of life. Living in a multinational society suggests being patient, loyal, and tactful because otherwise misunderstanding might grow in conflicts. Therefore, people living in multinational societies have to be more consciousness about potential conflicts arising from lies and bias constructed by social systems.