Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada

by John Ralston Saul

It's not my style to read books of political commentary, but when I read a few reviews of Saul's latest book, I was interested in learning more about his vision of Canada as a Metis nation, which has adopted a middle way between European and Aboriginal values, lifestyles, and forms of government.  It is an interesting argument, and Saul backs his ideas up nicely, but I feel like there may be more than a few instances of him looking for something and massaging interpretations to fit his vision.  For example, while I can see how Lester B. Pearson's notions of Peacekeeping are in line with an Aboriginal or Metis view, I doubt very much that Pearson would have given that any credit.

The other sections of the book are also very interesting.  Saul calls out the Canadian elite for cowardice and lack of vision in a number of areas, and each of his arguments make a lot of sense.  When put as it is, it's not hard to question the direction this country is going.

I found this book to be very approachable, educational, and entertaining, in its own fashion.

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