The Unfinished Canadian: The People We Are

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McClelland & Stewart, Nov 19, 2008 - Social Science - 280 pages
The award-winning, bestselling author of While Canada Slept gives his view of a country wasted on Canadians.

What is national character? What makes the Americans, the British, the French, the Russians, and the Chinese who they are? In this homogenized world, where globalization is a byword for a deadening sameness, why do peoples who live in the same region, use the same money, read the same books, and watch the same movies remain different from one another? As much as Canada may be seen as a copy, clone, or colony of America, we are unquestionably distinctive. It is a result of our geography, history, and politics. It comes from our demography and prosperity. Most of all, it comes from our character.

In The Unfinished Canadian, Andrew Cohen delves into our past and present in search of our defining national characteristics. He questions hoary shibboleths, soothing mythologies, and old saws with irreverence, humour, and flintiness, unencumbered by our proverbial politeness (itself a great misperception) and our suffocating political correctness. We are so much, in so many shades, and it’s time we took an honest look at ourselves. In this provocative, passionate, and elegant book, Cohen argues that our mythology, our jealousy, our complacency, our apathy, our amnesia, and our moderation are all part of the unbearable lightness of being Canadian.

From the Hardcover edition.

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User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

Andrew Cohen has joined the quintessentially Canadian debate about our character, our nature, our role in the world. The Unfinished Canadian examines Canada's character through its history, politics ... Read full review


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The Hybrid Canadian
The Observed Canadian
The Unconscious Canadian
The American Canadian
The Casual Canadian
The Capital Canadian
The Chameleon Canadian
The Future Canadian
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About the author (2008)

Andrew Cohen has written widely on international affairs over his career of twenty-five years. His previous books include A Deal Undone: The Making and Breaking of the Meech Lake Accord, Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau (co-edited with J.L. Granatstein), and While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and a Globe and Mail Notable Book. Cohen writes a weekly column for several newspapers and was a 2006 finalist for a National Newspaper Award. He is a commentator on radio and television and lives in Ottawa.

From the Hardcover edition.

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