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HUMANITIES 383 the Border'- an argument for the social ideal of multiculturalism (with a critique of Charles Taylor), and a presentation (with a critique of Marx's concept of the 'concrete') on behalf of an English-Canadian 'ecological relation to the world.' On the whole, Angus's argument is clear and thought-provoking and the book should be of interest in many different fields of Canadian studies. Nevertheless, some readers may find that the exclusive concentration on the philosophical dimensions of Canadian identity becomes a source of weakness in the book. In spite of a political positioning which privileges (philosophically) social realities, many of Angus's analyses 'bracket' the details of these realities in favour of abstract argumentation, and highly metaphorical language- the 'Same/ the 'Other,' the birth of Self,' etc. In a similar way, the abstract philosophical orientation masks some challenging positional questions that could be posed to Angus. Why, in an argument that puts cultural diversity so centrally, does Angus spend so little time examining the actual diversity of 'English Canada,' why does he rely so completely on British-Canadian intellectual sources (as if minority perspectives did not exist), and why do the historical and ongoing realities of English-Canadian inequality, racism, domination, and so forth figure so minimally in his analysis? Angus might reply that he has resolved these at the philosophical level, but the presence of three highly polemical political appendices at the end of the book suggests otherwise. Further, given the argument of the 'border within,' it is somewhat contradictory and unfortunate in the book to separate the politics from the philosophy by this structural border.' (ENOCH PADOLSKY) David M. Hayne, editor. Can Canada Survive? Under What Terms and Conditions? University of Toronto Press. 126. $15.00 Just over a year after the October 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum, the Royal Society of Canada convened a conference on the 'existential crisis of nnprecedented importance iri the history of Canada' to which that event gave rise. The present volume, edited by David Hayne, immediate pastpresident of the Royal Society, is the result of that conference. The ten essays cover a good spectrum of views, and all have the great merit of being short. The papers were written for an audience that needs no introduction to the great Canadian debate. Seven of the ten are by seasoned players in Canada's 'unity games.' These include Lise Bissonnette, then editor of Le Devoir, and seven political scientists- in order of appearance, ยท Thomas Flanagan, Charles Taylor, Alan Cairns, Jean Laponce, Guy Laforest, and Philip Resnick. The other three contributors, though clearly 384 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 very knowledgable about the constitutional turmoil, bring fresher voices from other disciplines to the affair. They are sociologist Guy Rocher, chemist Cooper Langford, and historian Margaret Conrad. Though a common line on the future of Canada is not to be expected from such a diverse group, most of the contributors accept that postreferendum Canada is in crisis and that the existing federation will come apart, possibly in an atmosphere of very un-Canadian violence, unless appeals to etlmic nationalism (in English and French Canada) are toned down and some major constitutional restructuring takes place. Only Thomas Flanagan challenges the sense of crisis. In his view the probability of Canada surviving within its current boundaries is higher than any time since 1982whenTrudeau decided to patriate the Constitution without Quebec 's consent and 1984 when Mulroney launched his effort to bring Quebec into the constitutional family. Margaret Conrad, on the other hand, challenges the mainstream constitutional players to attend to the needs ofthose who are marginalized by the globalization of economic life, lest the cost of saving the federation is an unacceptable reduction in human well-being. One group ofmarginalized Canadians whose voice was not heard at this Royal Society symposium was the Aboriginal peoples. This was an unfortunate omission, given that the vision of Canada which finds the most support among the constitutional reformers in this volume is that of a multi-national political community. If the Quebecois have the right to be recognized as a national people, surely the Aboriginal peoples, whose nations have a much longer history, have an even stronger claim to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 383-384
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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