9780886292577 / 0886292573

Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism (Carleton Library Series)


Publisher:Carleton Univ Pr



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About the book:

In 1965, George Grant's Lament for a Nation struck a chord with Canadians who feared the overwhelming influence of American commerce, culture, and technology. Nearly 40 years later, the controversy is still reverberating. Grant saw Canada's absorption into the United States as a done deal. Economic decisions taken in the 1940s undermined the country's ability to set its own foreign and defence policies in the 1960s, he argued. "Once it was decided that Canada was to be a branch-plant society of American capitalism, the issue of Canadian nationalism had been settled." A professor of religious studies, Grant vehemently opposed the Canadian government's acquiescence in allowing nuclear-armed Bomarc missiles on Canadian soil in the early 1960s. He deemed the Canadian military "an errand boy for the Americans," then broadened his attack to take aim at technological progress and the liberal principles that he believed sold the country out. Canadian nationalism has come up against thorny issues of continental relations for about 200 years. While he offered no practical solutions for stemming the erosion of Canada's sovereignty, Grant provided a framework for debate that has held up through free trade, the anti-ballistic missile defence shield, war in Iraq, and one mad cow. Just by posing the question, "can the disappearance of an unimportant nation be worthy of serious grief?", Grant's work became a galvanizing force for finding the answer. --Carolyn Leitch

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