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The award-winning, bestselling author of While Canada Slept gives his view of a country wasted on Canadians. What is national character? What makes the Americans, the British, the French, the Russians, and the Chinese who they are? In this homogenized world, where globalization is a byword for a deadening sameness, why do peoples who live in the same region, use the same money, read the same books, and watch the same movies remain different from one another? As much as Canada may be seen as a copy, clone, or colony of America, we are unquestionably distinctive. It is a result of our geography, history, and politics. It comes from our demography and prosperity. Most of all, it comes from our character. In The Unfinished Canadian, Andrew Cohen delves into our past and present in search of our defining national characteristics. He questions hoary shibboleths, soothing mythologies, and old saws with irreverence, humour, and flintiness, unencumbered by our proverbial politeness (itself a great misperception) and our suffocating political correctness. We are so much, in so many shades, and it's time we took an honest look at ourselves. In this provocative, passionate, and elegant book, Cohen argues that our mythology, our jealousy, our complacency, our apathy, our amnesia, and our moderation are all part of the unbearable lightness of being Canadian.From the Hardcover edition.
For how much longer can Canada expect to get a free ride? With 9/11 and the international "war on terrorism," the time has come to ask some hard questions. Should we continue to starve our military, reduce our humanitarian assistance, dilute our diplomacy, and absent ourselves from global intelligence-gathering? Can we expect to sit at the global table by virtue of our economic power without pursuing a foreign policy worthy of our history, geography, and diversity? Canada has been getting by on the cheap, writes Andrew Cohen in this timely, forceful, and insightful new book. Our reluctance to pay our own way has had a cost: it has eroded the pillars of our international stature. We are still trading on the reputation this country built two generations ago, but it is a reputation we no longer deserve. We claim to be engaged abroad, but for too long we have been a freeloader, trying to do the same for less, practising pinch-penny diplomacy and foreign policy on the cheap. Our capacity in these key areas has become glaringly inadequate, and now that weakness is compromising our ability to honour our traditional commitments overseas. The time is ripe for a thorough re-examination of our foreign policy, to affirm our values, to win the respect of our allies, to carry our weight.
LifeWhat is Life? Where did it come from? Why does it end?In this beautiful companion book to the Science series Wonders of Life, professor Brian Cox takes us on an incredible journey to discover how a few fundamental laws gave birth to the most complex, diverse, and unique force in the universe--life itself. Earth is home to an estimated one hundred million species--yet each one is governed by the same laws. Light, gravity, time, matter, and energy are the building blocks of everything, from the smallest microbe to the biggest galaxy. What is true for a bacterium is true for a blue whale. This is the story of the amazing diversity and adaptability of life, told through the fundamental laws that govern it. Through his voyage of discovery, Brian explains how the astonishing inventiveness of nature came about and explores the milestones in the epic journey from the origin of life to modern civilization. From the vast networks of subterranean fresh-water caverns of the Yucatan peninsula to the unique and precious island of Madagascar, Brian brings readers on a thrilling adventure to the earths most remote locations, where the wonders of life are on spectacular display. Along the way, the biggest scientific questions are answered: What is life? Where did it come from? Why does it end?Relying on the latest advances in science as well as the cutting-edge graphics used in the visually stunning bestsellers Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe, Brian uncovers the secrets of life in revolutionary detail.
Experience our universe as you've never seen it before 13.7 billion years old. 93 billion light-years across. It contains over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. This infinite, vast and complex Universe has been the subject of human fascination and scientific exploration for thousands of years. The wonders of the Universe might seem alien to us and impossible to understand, but away from the telescopes, the labs and the white coats, Professor Brian Cox uses the evidence found in the natural world on Earth to brilliantly explain the truth of the cosmos. Professor Cox will show how the vast and unfathomable phenomena of deep space can be explained, and even experienced, by re-examining the familiar here on Earth. He is determined to answer the most profound questions we can ask about ourselves and the world in which we live, but in a uniquely understandable way. The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied in the Universe. Using his expert knowledge and his infectious enthusiasm, Professor Cox shows us that if we can understand the impact of these governing laws on Earth it will bring us a step closer to an understanding of our Universe.
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