Between the Lines

Between the Lines

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Ian McKay on The Harper Government and Canada’s Military Past

  • March 18th, 2015, 4:30pm–6:30pm
  • Ryerson University, 125 Bond Street , School of Graphic Communications Management Heidelberg Centre (HEI Building - room 102) , Toronto, ON, Canada (map)

Ian McKay, on of Canada’s leading social and cultural historians, is presenting the Robert Teigrob Lecture, “The Harper Government and Canada’s Military Past.” Among other titles Ian is the co-author (with Jamie Swift) of Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety

Warrior Nation: Once known for peacekeeping, Canada is becoming a militarized nation whose apostles—-the New Warriors-—are fighting to shift public opinion. New Warrior zealots seek to transform postwar Canada’s central myth-symbols. Peaceable kingdom. Just society. Multicultural tolerance. Reasoned public debate. Their replacements? A warrior nation. Authoritarian leadership. Permanent political polarization.

The tales cast a vivid light on a story that is crucial to Canada’s future; yet they are also compelling history. Swashbuckling marauder William Stairs, the Royal Military College graduate who helped make the Congo safe for European pillage. Vimy Ridge veteran and Second World War general Tommy Burns, leader of the UN’s first big peacekeeping operation, a soldier who would come to call imperialism “the monster of the age.” Governor General John Buchan, a concentration camp developer and race theorist who is exalted in the Harper government’s new Citizenship Guide. And that uniquely Canadian paradox, Lester Pearson. Warrior Nation is an essential read for those concerned by the relentless effort to conscript Canadian history.

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