Why We Act Like Canadians

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
In this challenging book, written as a series of open letters to an American friend, Pierre Berton reaches into his profound knowledge of the country’s history and geography to dissect, praise, explain and occasionally criticize the national character. He does so, not with abstract opinions but with apt and colourful examples taken from the past and the present: Sam Steele’s gold rush censorship of the Turkish Whirlwind Danseuse; Ontario’s grudging acceptance of beer in three Toronto ballparks; New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Lorne Greene’s rueful return to Toronto; William Van Horne’s tirade against winter carnivals; the role of Kentucky in the War of 1812; W.A.C. Bennett’s surprising takeover of the B.C. Electric Company on the day of its president’s funeral. All these apparently disconnected incidents are woven into a carefully thought-out dissection of the national character, a distillation of more than thirty years of Berton research.