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Did Lester B. Pearson get it wrong? The Liberal prime minister envisioned Canada as a nation of peacekeepers, and won the Nobel Prize for his vision. However, throughout the last decade, Canada’s identity crisis has deepened. The concept of the Canadian soldier as peacekeeper has been transformed into one of confident and able war-maker. We are told we are, and must be, a warrior nation.
In What We Talk About When We Talk About War, Noah Richler examines the rhetoric of conflict, how story and information is used to convince a society to pursue a particular path, or not. This clear-eyed polemic looks at the narrative employed by politicians and the military and takes the media to task for our revised national mythology and re-interpretation of the events of past wars. Richler suggests that our changing narrative about war speaks volumes about our collective consciousness and how we have conceived and redefined ourselves as a nation as we talked ourselves into, through, and ultimately out of our participation in war.