CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by Eric Shragge, Ronald Babin, and Jean-Guy Vaillancourt. Toronto, Between the Lines, 1986. 203pp, paper, ISBN 0-919946-74-7 (cloth) $29.95, 0-919946-75-5 (paper) $12.95. Distributed by Between the Lines, 229 College Street, Toronto, M5T 1R4. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Janet Tomkins

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

This collection of essays on the Canadian peace movement comprises contributions from more than a dozen activists. It sets out to open debate and spur the movement beyond its minimalist strategy of protest against Cruise testing and Star Wars, to a confrontation with the basic power relationsóboth international and domestic-that cause and maintain militarism.

The book is divided into two sections, the first of which attempts to provide an international perspective on Canadian peace activism, and to examine Canada's international record on defence and arms control issues. Six essays explore topics including Canada's defence policy and NATO; trends in the European disarmament movement; the relationship between the peace movements of North America and Europe, and the national liberation movements in the Third World; the Soviet role in the arms race; and the need for internationalism in the pursuit of detente. Part Two, "Organizing for Peace," examines approaches taken by peace activists, and some of the issues currently facing the movement. Topics include the feminist approach; community disarmament initiatives; the role of trade unions; the Canadian uranium trade; and the structure of Canadian political power. The final chapter outlines a basis for future peace activism in Canada. A bibliography is included.

Roots of Peace does raise many of the questions central to understanding and challenging international militarism. And yet, its attempt to provide a broad perspective on the issue results in a potpourri of arguments and ideas that lacks unity. Certainly, the "Canadian" aspect of the book is not a consistent focus. A few chapters deal specifically with this country's role in militarism and in the peace movement, but others give Canada only passing mention, or none at all. And because so many different issues are raised, the treatment is necessarily superficial. The book is also infused with idealistic rhetoric, and a blatant political bias defined by anti-Americanism, and contempt for Canada's meek compliance with U.S. hegemony in North America.

Roots of Peace may be of interest to the converted, but it will not inform students.

Janet Tomkins, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alta.
line indexes


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