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Gwyn, Richard.

Toronto, McClelland and Stcwart.cl985. 362pp. cloth. $22.95. ISBN 0-7710-3733-3.CIP.

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Ted Monkhouse

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

Canadians have read the political reportage of Richard Gwyn for some twenty years in news magazines or viewed his insightful, political commentating on national television. His portrait of Trudeau in the Northern Magus* revealed for Canadians the character of this enigmatic leader. As a politcal reporter he ranks as one of the top in the country.

Perhaps the dust jacket, in combination with the title, spells out the thrust of Gwyn's latest, highly readable discourse. The jacket portrays the maple leaf flag zippered to the stars and stripes either being zipped or unzipped or left partly zipped. What the book does particularly well is also what Pierre Berton has done over the years, i.e.. clearly spell out the difference between us and our American neighbours, culturally, historically, economically, and politically. It is a discourse, up to the minute, of nationalism in its various guises. In a surprising turnabout view, he finds Canadians as guilty as the United States of taking the other for granted, tracing everything through our individual histories. Albeit only one man's view, most Canadians would be well served to read Gwyn's view of Canada in North America to the end of 1985.

In six major parts and twenty-two chapters, the book deals well with what is a continuing saga of trade and relations between the nations. From the National Energy Policy and economic nationalism, to the autopact and the current free trade debates, he folds in foreign policy, cultural identification, and the political heritage bequeathed by our political leadership. Must reading for any student or teacher of Canadian history or economics from senior high school to college, as well as all thinking Canadians. The book does it's job comprehensively and satisfyingly well by including the past and present to aid in a reading of our future. The book, correct or not, will lead to the debate it should. Highly recommended.

Ted Monkhouse, Wellington County Board of Education, Guelph, Ont.

*Reviewed IX/2 1981 p.127.

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