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Political Science Canadian

Canada and the Canadian Question

introduction by Carl Berger

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1971
Canadian, Nationalism, History & Theory
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1971
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Canada and the Canadian question is ‘one of the most effective and challenging critiques of Canada ever penned. It is an enormously illuminating series of impressions with sparkling insights into Canada’s social history, political practice, cultural life, and the ambiguities of her economic growth. It represents the mature reflections of a keen intelligence which had pondered the fundamental questions of Canada’s national existence and saw them in terms of the wider movements of opinion in Europe and North America.’ So writes Carl Berger in his Introduction to this work.


This is the classic statement of the case for the union of Canada and the United States. Frank Underhill called it ‘the most completely pessimistic book that has ever been written about our country,’ but added ‘all modern discussions of the Canadian question still revolve around the points [Smith] raised.’ This book is supremely important in Canadian nationalist thought because the author asked the question which all Canadian nationalists have since tried to answer: what positive value does the country embody and represent that justifies her existence?

About the author

Carl Berger, FRSC, is an emeritus professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.

Carl Berger's profile page