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Long before 9-11, Americans were changing. Their values were becoming more socially conservative, their waistlines were getting rounder, and they were more deferential to authority figures. Meanwhile, an opposite trend took root north of the border. Canadians were becoming more tolerant, open to risk, and questioning of the institutions that governed them. How is it that traditionally individualistic Americans have suddenly switched places with order-loving Canadians? Michael Adams, president of the Environics polling firm, tries to answer this question and probe the diverging values of Americans and Canadians in his book Fire and Ice.
Adams acknowledges his thesis is rather iconoclastic. Some commentators have suggested that Canadians have become simply Americans in parkas. But after 14,413 interviews over 10 years, Adams surprised even himself with his results: Canadians and Americans are not only becoming more dissimilar, they are also reversing roles, and the diverging trends have only increased since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Adams tested Canadians and Americans on over 100 values. He found that a growing number of Americans believes that "the father of the family must be master in his own home" (49 percent in 2000, up from 44 percent in 1996 and 42 percent in 1992). In Canada, fewer people agree that father knows best (18 percent in 2000, down from 26 percent in 1992). Canadians are increasingly bigger risk-takers, too. In 2000, 42 percent of Canadians and 54 percent of Americans said they did not like changing their habits. More Americans believe men are naturally superior to women, and fully 44 percent of Americans said they relate best to people who do not show emotions (compared to 30 percent of Canadians). Adams's book is heavy on statistics and light on explanations behind the trends, but it gives revealing insights into the world's only superpower and its neighbour to the north. --Alex Roslin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Michael Adams is president of the Environics group of marketing research and communications consulting companies with offices in the United States and Canada. He has written three bestselling books, including Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values, which won the prestigious 2004 Donner Prize for the best book on public policy in Canada.
This book is total garbage and perpetuates ridiculous stereotypes without any real research included to back up his points. I am not sure that Mr. Read morePublished on March 21 2006
As an American who married a Canadian, I've become quite a student of the Canadian-American relationship. Read morePublished on March 20 2006
For those who were looking for a fair comparison between the two most geographically endowed nations on the planet, you will not find it here. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2005 by Jeff Eloquor
I bought this book because I am an American who just moved to Canada and you can not go into a book shop without having this book prominently displayed. Read morePublished on May 13 2004 by John G. Hilliard
Having lived half my life in Canada, several years in the United States, and the remainder overseas, I feel uniquely positioned to comment on this book. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2003 by Snowkarver
I used to work the phones conducting public opinion surveys - I've seen this bunk before. Questions craftily worded to get the results you want. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003