"For Americans, the Canadian emphasis on their difference elicits only
shrug-of-the-shoulder indifference. And, to be sure, it is just
another facet of not paying attention to their northern neighbors.
After all, what significant nation emphasizes that it is not another? But Canadians seem to
need to rip up their social, political and emotional roots on a
regular basis to examine them. Such an exercise isn't conducive to
Despite sharing the world's
largest undefended border, the current relationship between Canada and
the US is not quite as sanguine as our geographic proximity would
suggest. We are related to one another through a number of factors –
social, political, technological and economic – however, each country
seems more preoccupied with counting grievances against the other than
constructively working towards mutual understanding – or at least
Neighbo(u)rs: Canada, the USA and the Dynamic of State, Industry and
Culture (Wiley; September 2007; Cloth; $33.99) authors
David Kilgour (a Canadian) and David T. Jones (an American) examine
international issues from the front lines. Without resorting to
blanket classification of our differences (whether they be "black and
white" or "fire and ice"), Kilgour and Jones delve into the middle
ground to explore the hot-button issues:
· National identity and Self
–Image: "The United States has emphasized (and is willing to enforce)
unity; Canada has tolerated an almost unprecedented level of disunity
and has remained one country."
· Democratic Culture and
Practices: While Americans view government as a necessary evil,
Canadians tend to view government as a good thing, trusted to act in
the public interest.
· Economic and Resource
Management: One of the greatest challenges Canada and the US face is
the tension between energy use and conservation – the US is the
world's largest energy consumer while Canada could be the largest
producer of petroleum in the world.
· Culture, Education and
Religion: Canada and the US hold their respective cultures as a point
of pride, but are both struggling as public education fails to meet
the national standards and the standards of other industrialized
· Health Care: No matter what
side of the border you're on, health care faces a systematic problem:
"in the end, we all die." Both countries face the same frustration as
many worthy social programs are competing for limited funding – health
· Military:The US outspends
the world for defense/security – and still believes itself at risk;
has Canada abdicated its security to the US?
By taking on the issues
that bind our countries together, Kilgour and Jones are ultimately
searching for productive avenues of discussion to move beyond the
mudslinging that so often passes for discourse across our border.
About the Authors
based in Ottawa, is a former MP for both the Conservative and Liberal
Parties. He has also served as the Secretary of State for Latin
America and Africa, Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and Deputy
Speaker of the House.
David T. Jones,
based in Arlington VA, is a retired US senior foreign-service officer,
focusing on NATO and arms control issues. He served as the political
minister counselor at the US Embassy in Ottawa from 1992-1996.
Canada , the USA and the Dynamics of State, Industry and Culture
Kilgour and David T. Jones
2007; Cloth; $33.99
information please contact Deborah Guichelaar at 416. 236.4433 x53013
or firstname.lastname@example.org .