“Constance Backhouse has sifted through 20th-century Canadian legal history to provide a fascinating demonstration of the ways in which racialist ideas permeated the country's legal institutions …. In showing how deeply racialist attitudes have been absorbed into the legal framework of Canadian society in the past, Backhouse's book gives Canadians all the more reason to continue contesting them today.”

- Robert J.C. Young, “The race for equality” National Post (19 February 2000)
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“…lively new history … packed with prickly revelations … If we want to break through the Canadian mythology of racelessness and come to grips with the whole of our past, both the splendid and the rotten, we could do no better than open Backhouse's book.”

- Michele Landsberg "Reviews: "Colour Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada 1900-1950"" Herizons (Winter 2001)
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“Race may have been a legally fictitious category but, as Colour Coded convincingly demonstrates, that did not stop the courts from using it to discriminate against blacks, Asians and the country's indigenous peoples. …. The six cases she chose to write about are, she concedes, the tip of a vast iceberg of lawfully-entrenched racism. …[but] these ones are momentously important."”

-Michael Posner, “Focus On: Author Constance Backhouse” The Globe and Mail (12 February 2000) D8.
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Awarded the 2002 Joseph Brant Award as the “best book in multicultural history published within the past three years” by the Ontario Historical Society.

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