What We Talk About When We Talk About War
|Publisher:||Goose Lane Editions|
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.
“I have to say that I was stunned by Richler’s courage and insight: if he were our Prime Minister, there would never have been an Afghanistan!” —Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN
“You don’t have to agree with everything Noah Richler says—I don’t—but you must take him seriously.” —Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919
“A tonic to the spirit, Richler’s book explores the rootedness of Canadian values and connects them to the experience of life in an enormous and damn lucky country.” —James Laxer, author of Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812