A compelling call to arms to reinvigorate our vision of Canada's place in the world, from one of the best of our new generation of public intellectuals.
Why do Canadians think so small? "We're a serious country. But our clout -- we don't use it," says Michael Byers, who argues it is time for a clear-eyed appreciation of our strengths and weaknesses, of all we have and all we could be. Instead of emulating our increasingly isolated neighbour, Byers says we should be advancing the Canadian model, an idealistic, fiscally prudent, socially progressive vision of foreign policy that has never looked so good.
Playing against George Grant's seminal Lament for a Nation, Intent for a Nation is Michael Byers informed and opinionated overview of where Canada stands in the world and what aggressive and progressive social, environmental, and governmental policies are needed to carry the country forward in an ever more competitive and volatile world.
"For anyone who loves Canada, hates Canada or is ambivalent about this whole vast land mass and its contrarian population of self-doubters, Intent for a Nation may be the most exciting book to appear in decades. Subtitled What is Canada For?...the book is an assemblage of new ideas and timeless values turned out in fresh new clothes."
"One of the most enlightening reads I've lately come across...Byers offers a consistently left-leaning perspective in a tremendously informative and thoughtful book."
"A passionate and cheerful call for international action, based on a diligent reading of our values and our potential."
"[Byers]...makes his point well. Canada would have better served its interests, its values and the sum total of human happiness over the past six years if its leaders had more often found the guts to call the Bush administration out on its failures and excesses -- Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons and chartered CIA torture flights, many of which seem to have flown through our airspace and used our airports."
"Writers like Naomi Klein and this Michael Byers see Canada's glass as very much half full...We need Canadians like this speaking up or we'll expire as a country...I do urge Canadians to read Intent for a Nation. Wrap an arm around yourself and find your backbone. Speak up for Canada."