TWO NATIONS: AN ESSAY ON THE CULTURE AND POLITICS OF CANADA AND QUEBEC IN A WORLD OF AMERICAN PRE-EMINENCE
Susan Crean and Marcel Rioux
Toronto, James Lorimer, c1983
Toronto, James Lorimer, c1983
Volume 12 Number 2
This is an important book with serious implications, a discourse on many of the issues, economic, political, and cultural, facing citizens in contemporary Canadian society. It will be useful as a reference text in college classes, and it will provide questions and source material for community study groups and for individuals concerned about the state of society.
The dual authorship is unusual: but Susan Crean, Anglophone critic, (Who's Afraid of Canadian Culture?* 1976) and Marcel Rioux, francophone nationalist, (Quebec in Question, Lorimer 1978) share the view that through understanding the problems of Canada and Quebec (the two "nations"), especially that both must stand against the tide of American empire, we will be able to create a new "association."
Sections of the book examine (1) the relationship between Canada and Quebec now that the referendum is over and the constitution home, (2) the history of American-Canadian relations, (3) America's global pre-eminence, its network of military, economic, and technological influences that operate through multinational organizations, and (4) the need to turn from the inevitability of nuclear war and/or ecological and economic catastrophe to find in the human imagination possibilities for re-inventing our destinies beginning with self-determination. The sketching in of the historical base of these issues is clear, as is the fact that constantly emerges that American domination is the major force in our world.
There is much useful exposition showing the significance of many terms: "nation," "sovereignty," "identity," the full meaning of "culture," the term "cultural sovereignty," and so on. The exposition frequently exposes misconceptions commonly expressed in public debate. Up-to-date statistics support the authors' views on the film industry, the advantages that have been given to American magazines, and American control of communications on a world scale.
Where George Grant's Lament for a Nation, 1965, was very pessimistic in its outlook and conclusions, these authors, after showing the negative aspects of our relationship with our large neighbour, assume the role of spokespeople for human values and insist that through the will to determine our own destiny we will be able to change the system.
There is a very useful bibliography that gives a partial list of their sources, some 154 entries of current publications. One footnote from a reviewer who lives in a western area: as I read page after page, I found the Canadian viewpoint seemed to be almost exclusively concerned with a central Canadian entity. Since in the last chapter, attention is directed to the future, I would like to have had questions opened up about western and Atlantic regions.
*Reviewed vol. VI/3 Autumn 1976 p.97
Mary Fallis, Prince George, BC.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers
Young Canada Works