Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review of Ron Dart's 'Lament for a Nation: Then and Now' - Brad Jersak

Fifty years have passed since the publication of Canada's most important work of non-fiction: George P. Grant's, Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism. For those have not read it, the book was written in 1965 as a true lament (in the tradition of Jeremiah the prophet) for the death of the Canadian vision.

Grant's lament, of course, was not merely a cry of despair (or one would not write at all), but rather, functioned as a wake-up call to Canada, a nation that was losing its unique identity and becoming a vassal state of American culture -- sliding into the hegemony of liberalism that spans from far right to far left in the culture wars south of the border. In part, the lament achieved its goal in triggering a resurgence of Canadian nationalism, but its echo needs to be heard again, more now than ever.
Ron Dart, Canada's leading active Grant scholar, has written a booklet revisiting these themes, entitled Lament for a Nation: Then and Now (American Anglican Press, 2015). In a series of insightful essays, Dart explores the relevance of Grant's urgent message for us today. These essays include:
  • George Grant: Lament for a Nation and Red Toryism
  • Lament for a Nation: A Jeremiad for our time.
  • Allen Ginsberg and George Grant: Howl and Lament for a Nation
  • Sheila Grant and Lament for a Nation
Dart's little booklet displays his usual genius for synthesizing and applying Grant's work in political philosophy within his larger worldview of the primacy of the Good vis-a-vis our delusions of freedom as autonomous willfulness (a la Nietzsche). Canadian readers who have not picked up Grant's Lament would benefit in acquiring it along with this helpful guide. 

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