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What We Talk About When We Talk About War [Paperback]

Noah Richler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
Price: CDN$ 15.64 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 6 2012

Amazon.ca Editors' Pick: Best Books of 2012

A provocative examination of how communications has shaped the language of the media, and vice versa, and how rhetoric shapes how Canadians thinks of themselves as a nation and Canada’s engagement in peacekeeping, war, and on the international stage. According to Richler, each phase of engagement in Afghanistan has been shaped not only by rhetoric but an overarching narrative structure. This topic is very much in discussion at the moment. With the withdrawal of Canadian troops (at least in part) from Afghanistan, it becomes clear there had been a rhetorical cycle. Where once Canada wielded the myth of itself as a peacekeeping nation, the past decade has seen a marked shift away from this, emphasizing the Canadian soldier as warrior. Yet now, as the country withdraws, the oratorical language we use steps away from heroes, able warriors, and sacrifice and back towards a more comfortable vision of Canada in a peacekeeping/training role. In recent years, Canada has made large financial investments in the apparatus of war — in a manner it hasn’t in a very long time — and as the realities of war are brought home (the losses, the tragedies, the atrocities, the lasting repercussions that come home with the soldiers who were on the front lines), Richler contends that it’s crucial we understand our national perspective on war — how we have framed it, how we continue to frame it. Using recent events to bolster his arguments, including the shooting of American congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the earthquake in Haiti, Richler argues that very possibly the epic narrative of Canada is winding back down to that of the novel as we slowly regain our peacekeeping agenda. (20120402)

Frequently Bought Together

What We Talk About When We Talk About War + Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety + Canada and Conflict
Price For All Three: CDN$ 44.77

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Review

“A book worthy of joining some of the greatest examinations of human behaviour.” — Alex Davis, espritdecorps.ca (20120424)

“Definitely a book that will get people talking and turn a few heads, I couldn't recommend it more.” — Alex Davis, espritdecorps.ca (20120424)

“The book offers considerable meat to chew. . . . I can’t agree with all of Richler’s analysis, but I am grateful he has raised some important issues that have not been, but should have been, fully debated in Parliament and in the rest of the country this past decade.” — Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen (20120509)

Review

"This is a book of enormous erudition. I am stunned by Richler's courage and insight. He dares to take on the pathology orchestrated by the military apologists in our political, academic and media establishment; debunking it, dismembering it, eviscerating it. Rarely does someone of letters take on such a subject and convey the argument with such force and clarity. There's no question that the apologists will have exquisite apoplexy, but surely that's the ultimate tribute. The rest of us will exult in his embrace of the values of peace and decency, in a Canada that once was and might yet be again." — Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.N.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy paper June 9 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a thought provoking and analytical review of the growing war culture so evident in the remarks and policies of Canada's elected government. Richler's conclusions are startling and take time to digest.
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Potty mouth scared me off . . . June 6 2012
By Scobo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bought the Kindle edition. Read 4 pages of introduction and was completely turned off by the gratuitous foul language. This foul language and sexual allusions very likely obscure a promising topic. Too bad! Yes, Martha, people swear, but if writers can really write, they might not stoop and force the reader to scoop. So, after 4 Kindle pages, I requested a refund, and for want of language, a reader (of Noah Richler) is lost. Forever!
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