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A new book by a St. Lawrence graduate, examining the history of two towns on the St. Lawrence River, is a continuation of research begun while she was an undergraduate student.

From Great Wilderness To Seaway Towns: A Comparative History of Cornwall, Ontario, and Massena, New York, 1784-2001, by Claire Puccia Parham '90, is due out in January of 2004 from the State University of New York Press.

Described as "a comprehensive study of two towns on either side of the U.S.-Canadian border," the book "adds a new dimension to the debate over the perceived differences between American and Canadian society," according to publishers.

Parham, a native of Watertown, New York, who earned a master's degree at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and the Ph.D. at SUNY Binghamton in American history, began the research for the book as an honors project in goverment while a senior at St. Lawrence. One of her professors, Professor of Government Alan Draper, is among those adding endorsements for the book on its cover. He states, "Parham corrects the lack of attention the North Country has received from historians. This clearly written and accessible work uses two cities, separated by a river that also happens to be the national boundary between Canada and the United States, to test what is arguably the biggest issue within all of American historiography: the question of American exceptionalism. The findings are well supported and make a real contribution to that debate."

Posted: January 15, 2004