Canadians have relatively few binding national myths, but one of the most pervasive and enduring is the conviction that the country is doomed. In 1965 George Grant passionately defended Canadian identity by asking fundamental questions about the meaning and future of Canada's political existence. In Lament for a Nation he argued that Canada — immense and underpopulated, defined in part by the border, history, and culture it shares with the United States, and torn by conflicting loyalties to Britain, Quebec, and America — had ceased to exist as a sovereign state. Lament for a Nation became the seminal work in Canadian political thought and Grant became known as the father of Canadian nationalism. This edition includes a major introduction by Andrew Potter that explores Grant's arguments in the context of changes in ethnic diversity, free trade, globalization, post-modernism, and 9/11. Potter discusses the shifting uses of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” and closes with a look at the current state of Canadian nationalism.
George P. Grant (1918-1988) was the author of Philosophy in the Mass Age, Technology and Empire, English-Speaking Justice, and Technology and Justice. Andrew Potter is the director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
?Masterpiece is not a word to use lightly, but Lament for a Nation merits it. In it Grant distilled his years of study of theology and philosophy, together with his knowledge of history and his acute attention to the daily passage of political events. The
?This is a very important book for its thorough and critically alert discussion of beginning and end-of-life issues. While centred on representative case-studies or court judgments, principally from the Canadian context, the author skilfully enables its s
?Lament for a Nation should be respected as a masterpiece of political meditation ... In this study Grant opened Canadian public debate, with frankness and depth, to include the most fundamental and perennial questions a nation must ask itself about the full meaning of its own political existence. He challenged us to reflect on the unique possibilities and limits constituting our destiny as Canadians.” Peter Emberley, Carleton University