In 1965, George Grant's Lament for a Nation
struck a chord with Canadians who feared the overwhelming influence of American commerce, culture, and technology. Nearly 40 years later, the controversy is still reverberating. Grant saw Canada's absorption into the United States as a done deal. Economic decisions taken in the 1940s undermined the country's ability to set its own foreign and defence policies in the 1960s, he argued. "Once it was decided that Canada was to be a branch-plant society of American capitalism, the issue of Canadian nationalism had been settled." A professor of religious studies, Grant vehemently opposed the Canadian government's acquiescence in allowing nuclear-armed Bomarc missiles on Canadian soil in the early 1960s. He deemed the Canadian military "an errand boy for the Americans," then broadened his attack to take aim at technological progress and the liberal principles that he believed sold the country out. Canadian nationalism has come up against thorny issues of continental relations for about 200 years. While he offered no practical solutions for stemming the erosion of Canada's sovereignty, Grant provided a framework for debate that has held up through free trade, the anti-ballistic missile defence shield, war in Iraq, and one mad cow. Just by posing the question, "can the disappearance of an unimportant nation be worthy of serious grief?", Grant's work became a galvanizing force for finding the answer. --Carolyn Leitch
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Lament for a Nation should be respected as a masterpiece of political meditation ... In this study Professor Grant opened Canadian public debate, with frankness and depth, to include the most fundamental and perennial questions a nation must ask itself about the full meaning of its own political existence. He challenged us to reflect on the unique possibilities and limits constituting our destiny as Canadians." Peter Emberley, Professor of Political Science, Carleton University. "Masterpiece is not a word to use lightly, but Lament for a Nation merits it. In it Grant distilled his years of study of theology and philosophy, together with his knowledge of history and his acute attention to the daily passage of political events. The former adult educator put it all into a book that was instantly accessible to the broad reading public, but rewarded repeated reading by academic philosophers." William Christian, author of George Grant: A Biography