THE FUTURE OF NORTH AMERICA: CANADA, THE UNITED STATES, AND QUEBEC NATIONALISM by Elliot J. & Neff Nevitte--Eds. Feldman

THE FUTURE OF NORTH AMERICA: CANADA, THE UNITED STATES, AND QUEBEC NATIONALISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Canada is no longer your good neighbor to the north,"" writes Mordecai Richler. ""It's your fulminating neighbor. And we are only ostensibly boring."" In the accompanying essays, 26 other strong-minded Canadians and Americans, fewer than half academics, discuss and dispute the issues dividing Canada and the U.S. and the tensions within Canada itself. And, whether from north or south of the border, they are seldom boring. Sylvia Wright, responding to Richler, good-humoredly proposes that Canadians solve their identity problem by developing ""a much more distinguished. . . anti-Americanism,"" and she cites a ""devastating"" Marshall McLuhan put-down. Ren‚ L‚vesque, speaking as the father-presumptive of an independent Quebec, sees Canada as potentially stronger ""without the foreign body""--in Pierre Trudeau's absence (he declined to participate), the only unanswered thesis here. There are, however, pointed exchanges between Canadian and American spokesmen on U.S. economic and media penetration, and the Canadian counterattack (""all the non-commercial motives,"" American lawyer Rosenbloom caustically comments, ""seem to reside north of the border""), and differing views on the world outlook from Ottawa and Washington (is Canada justified in calling itself, modestly, a ""middle power?"" or, proudly, a moral giant?). But the pieces that will do most to dispel American ignorance are those which touch upon Canadian disunity and federal-provincial relations--in the areas of resource development and bureaucratic growth overall, and specifically as regards Quebec, the West, and the Maritimes (Quebec clearly emerges as a catalyst--not unlike blacks in the ethnically-fractured U.S.). Interestingly, the Maritimes' Flora MacDonald--Canada's new External Affairs Minister--proposes a strategy of building on, rather than decrying, regional diversity. But no one in this stimulating assemblage pretends to have all the answers.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1979
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Center for International Affairs (1737 Cambridge St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138)