John Ralston Saul Reimagines Canada (4-Book Bundle)

Reflections of a Siamese Twin, A Fair Country, The Comeback, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin

Publisher: Viking
Canada has no greater interpreter and champion than John Ralston Saul, who for years has been challenging our common notions of Canada. These four books examine our history and myths, our relationships and modern reality, and together brilliantly portray a unique and remarkable country. 
 
Reflections of a Siamese Twin
In Reflections of a Siamese Twin, Saul turns his eye to an examination of Canada itself. Caught up in crises—political, economic, and social—Canada continues to flounder, unable to solve or even really identify its problems.
Instead, we assert absolute differences between ourselves: we are English or we are French; Natives or Europeans; early immigrants or newly arrived; from the east or from the west. Or we bow to ideologies and deny all differences in the name of nationalism, unity, or equality. In a startling exercise in reorientation, John Ralston Saul makes sense of Canadian myths—real, false, denied—and reconciles them with the reality of today’s politics, culture, and economics.

A Fair Country
In this startlingly original vision of Canada, John Ralston Saul argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by Aboriginal ideas: Egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all Aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. An obstacle to our progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.
 
The Comeback
Historic moments are always uncomfortable, Saul writes in this impassioned argument, calling on all of us to embrace and support the comeback of Aboriginal peoples. This, he says, is the great issue of our time—the most important missing piece in the building of Canada. The events that began late in 2012 with the Idle No More movement were not just a rough patch in Aboriginal relations with the rest of Canada. What is happening between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals is not about guilt or sympathy or failure or romanticization of the past. It is about citizens’ rights. It is about rebuilding relationships that were central to the creation of Canada. These relationships are just as important to its continued existence.
       Wide in scope but piercing in detail, The Comeback presents a powerful portrait of modern Aboriginal life in Canada illustrated by a remarkable selection of letters, speeches, and writings by Aboriginal leaders and thinkers, showcasing the extraordinarily rich, moving, and stable indigenous point of view across the centuries.
 
Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin
Here, Saul argues that modern Canada did not begin in 1867; rather its foundation was laid years earlier by two visionary men, Louis-Hipplyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. Opposites in temperament and driven by intense experiences of love and tragedy, together they developed principles and programs that would help unite the country.
     After the 1841 union, the two leaders of Lower and Upper Canada worked to create a reformist movement for responsible government run by elected citizens instead of a colonial governor. During the “Great Ministry” of 1848 to 1851—despite violent opposition—they set about creating a more equitable nation. They revamped judicial institutions, established a public education system, made bilingualism official, and designed a network of public roads. Writing with verve and deep convictions, Saul restores these two extraordinary Canadians to rightful prominence.