'Perhaps we should rejoice in the disappearance of Canada. We leave the narrow provincialism and our backwoods culture; we enter the excitement of the United States where all great things are being done. Who would compare the science, the art, the politics, the entertainment of our petty world to the overflowing achievements of New York, Chicago, San Francisco?' - George Grant, "Lament for a Nation". 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 by a shared border, history, and culture with the United States, and torn by conflicting loyalties to Britain, Quebec, and America - had ceased to exist as a sovereign state. Nonetheless, "Lament for a Nation" became the seminal work in Canadian political thought and Grant became known as the father of Canadian nationalism. The fortieth anniversary edition introduces "Lament for a Nation" to a new generation.
A major introduction by Andrew Potter 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. This edition also includes a biographical sketch of Grant, recommended further reading, and, for the first time, an index. George Grant's "Lament for a Nation" remains essential reading for anyone interested in questions of Canadian identity, sovereignty, and national unity. 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 a visiting fellow at the Centre de Recherche en Ethique at the Universite de Montreal, co-author of "The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can't be Jammed", and co-editor of "Canadian Cosmopolitanism".