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Searching for Certainty: Inside the New Canadian Mindset Hardcover – Nov 6 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; Canadian First edition (Nov. 6 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385259662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385259668
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,253,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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With our cold winters, cautious taste in politicians, and sluggish economy, optimism is not a feeling that comes naturally to many Canadians. But Searching for Certainty suggests that the country's citizens are greeting the future with far less trepidation than one might expect. This smart and straightforward analysis of recent social and economic trends--written by Edward Greenspon, long-time political columnist for the Globe and Mail, in collaboration with pollster Darrell Bricker of Canadian market research firm Ipsos-Reid--reveals that the last decade has wrought large and largely positive changes to the Canadian mindset. Worries over high unemployment, looming deficits, and Quebec sovereignty have receded as Canadians have redefined their roles, both as consumers and as citizens.

Of course, we're still talking about Canadians, so that optimism is tempered with a good deal of concern over issues like privatized health care and the erosion of the social safety net. Nevertheless, Greenspon and Bricker's lively account reveals a far different place than the country that almost didn't survive the "Nervous Nineties" intact. Greenspon, who serves as the book's principal author, points to streamlined governments, globalized trade strategies, and technological innovations like the Internet as the reasons for the turnaround in the Canadian economy (which, by mid-2002, was outperforming the U.S.). But on the whole, Greenspon and Bricker are more interested in the transformations taking place with Canadians themselves as they become more hopeful about their prospects and clearer about what they expect from each other and from their government. Their patriotism is tempered by pragmatism. "They love their country," write the authors, "but they insist that it must work for them."

Greenspon makes good use of Bricker's research, though the flurry of numbers has less impact than Greenspon's anecdotes about individual Canadians like Doug and Mary, a working-class couple in Nova Scotia who benefited from retraining programs but worry about being able to afford university education for their children. And even though Greenspon spends a great deal of energy raving about the liberating potential of the Internet, he also points out that the new advantages will favour some Canadians over others. Likewise, economic globalization is not presented as a cure-all--rather, its supporters must "be conscious of the need to include interests other than business in the global equation."

If Greenspon's prognostications sometimes sound vague, that's because it's too early to tell what the combined effect of leaner government, globalization, and new technology will be on Canada. But Searching for Certainty makes a convincing case that Canadians have entered the new century with a surprisingly cheery disposition. --Jason Anderson

Review

"Searching for Certainty puts the warp-speed change we are experiencing on slo mo, allowing us to dissect each frame... this book of ideas is alive with colourful characters." - Frank McKenna

"Bricker the pollster and Greenspon the journalist pack a one-two punch. Their portrait of Canada shows a resilient culture and refocused core values... This book is required reading for anyone concerned about how to adapt to the forces that are changing our individual and collective lives." - Angus Reid

"Fascinating insights by two of our best and brightest on how we've emerged from the 1990s more pragmatic, more skeptical of our governments and institutions, yet still fiercely committed to the human values that help define our national community. This book is essential reading for all who want to understand 21st-century Canadians." - Lloyd Robertson

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It is a fairly comprehensive social analysis that describes the Canadian mindset: recent past, current trends, the causes behind some of the paradigm shifts mentioned in the book.
The findings appear to be based on a wide range of studies and statistics, but unfortunately the authors do not mention their references in footnotes or in a bibliography.
The book describes in great lengths the "Tory Touch" that differentiates Canadians from the Americans. However, the authors are quite repetitive throughout the book.
I would recommed it to anyone interested in learning more about how Canadians perceive their national priorities and objectives. It would be particularly useful to people involved in politics and social policies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9aa2e1ec) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0x9aa3903c) out of 5 stars Intriguing, interesting ... but somewhat repititive April 11 2003
By Luc Chamberland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It is a fairly comprehensive social analysis that describes the Canadian mindset: recent past, current trends, the causes behind some of the paradigm shifts mentioned in the book.
The findings appear to be based on a wide range of studies and statistics, but unfortunately the authors do not mention their references in footnotes or in a bibliography.
The book describes in great lengths the "Tory Touch" that differentiates Canadians from the Americans. However, the authors are quite repetitive throughout the book.
I would recommed it to anyone interested in learning more about how Canadians perceive their national priorities and objectives. It would be particularly useful to people involved in politics and social policies.


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