In his introduction to this provocative collection of essays, George Woodcock describes his response to a recent question about national unity. "I remarked impatiently that what interested me was not the achievement of 'national unity, but the accomplishment of creative anti-national disunity."
Woodcock argues that if Canadians are angry about their alienation from the political decision-making process, it is because, in Canada, "geography has conspired with history to develop a whole series of local traditions that gain by their mingling, yet must retain their separateness for their mingling to be meaningful."
The eight essays in this collection reveal how Canada's political practices betray its true life as a society. They argue for Native self-government, municipal autonomy, and consider the enormous importance of transportation and communications to a true participatory democracy. The book concludes with an inspiring essay on how basic changes in our approach to our society can be achieved.
About the author
George Woodcock (1912-1995) is one of Canada's best-known and most prolific authors. He was born in Winnipeg and educated in England, where he socialized with some of the century's most prominent writers and intellectuals including Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Herbert Read and T.S. Eliot. He returned to Canada in 1949 and taught at the University of British Columbia for many years. In 1959, he founded the journal Canadian Literature. His contribtution to Canadian culture is immeasurable; he either wrote or edited over one-hundred books including The Crystal Spirit, his Governor-Genral's award-winning biography of Orwell; Gabriel Dumont, another bestselling biography; and Anarchism a guide to the political philosophy which continues to be read around the world. His wide range of writing includes literary criticism, poetry, travel writing, plays, social history, biography, politics and essays.
Other titles by George Woodcock
The Orwell Tapes
Colony and Confederation
Early Canadian Poets and Their Background
This Side Jordan
Walking Through the Valley
Morley Callaghan's More Joy in Heaven