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[Cross-posted from New Books in Journalism] ”We are not half a dozen provinces. We are one great Dominion,” Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald proudly declared. More than a century later, Canada has 10 provinces and three northern territories making it one of the biggest and richest countries on Earth. In the spirit of optimism that prevailed when the country celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1967, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau called for the founding of a “just society” in which every Canadian would enjoy fundamental rights.

But according to a recently published book, the country is retreating from Macdonald’s vision of one great country and from Trudeau’s call for a just society.

In Equal As Citizens: The Tumultuous and Troubled History of a Great Canadian Idea (Formac, 2014), author Richard Starr argues that Canada is losing its commitment to equal opportunity and sharing the country’s wealth. He traces the long history of Canada’s slow evolution toward a more equal society and its gradual retreat from that ideal. He shows that Canadians in richer provinces including Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia, now enjoy higher levels of government services, such as better health care and education, than those who live in poorer provinces such as Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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Julia AzariDelivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate

September 8, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Julia Azari has written Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate (Cornell University Press, 2014). Azari is assistant professor of political science at Marquette University. What was President Obama’s mandate when he was elected in 2008? Did that mandate extend to 2012? We commonly think that mandates attach to [...]

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Michael S. RothBeyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters

September 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Education] With a new focus on vocational and work ready education, the notion of a liberal education is becoming less valued in American society. Though, there are still defenders of this well-rounded and classic form of education. One staunch defender is Dr. Michael S. Roth, current President of Wesleyan University and author [...]

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Glenn FeldmanNation within a Nation: The American South and the Federal Government

August 18, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Glenn Feldman is the editor of Nation within a Nation: The American South and the Federal Government (University Press of Florida, 2014). Feldman is professor of history at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Painting Dixie Red: When, Where, Why, and How the South Became [...]

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Tom WeinerCalled to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft

July 31, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in American Studies] In 1969, the United States created and implemented a new method of drafting young men for military service–the “draft lottery.” The old system, whereby local draft boards selected those to enter service, was corrupt and unfair. The new system, whereby men would be chosen at random, would be incorruptible and [...]

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Judith KelleyMonitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Often Fails

July 22, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Judith Kelley is the author of Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Often Fails (Princeton University  Press, 2012). Kelley is associate professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. Monitoring Democracy, which won the Co-Winner of the 2013 Chadwick F. Alger Prize from the International Studies Association, [...]

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Ian Haney LopezDog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

June 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Ian Haney Lopez is the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class (Oxford UP 2014). He is the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and on the Executive Committee of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social [...]

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Benjamin MarquezDemocratizing Texas Politics: Race, Identity, and Mexican American Empowerment, 1945-2002

June 23, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Benjamin Marquez is the author of Democratizing Texas Politics: Race, Identity, and Mexican American Empowerment, 1945-2002 (University of Texas Press 2014). Marquez is professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Democratizing Texas Politics covers 50 years of Texas political history, but also the changing institutional power of parties, organizations, and [...]

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Austin SaratGruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty

June 18, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] When we discuss the death penalty we usually ask two questions: 1) should the state be in the business of killing criminals?; and 2) if so, how should the state put their lives to an end? As Austin Sarat shows in his fascinating book Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty (Stanford UP, 2014), [...]

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Jane MaienscheinEmbryos Under the Microscope: The Diverging Meanings of Life

June 12, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Why do we study the history of science? Historians of science don’t just teach us about the past: along with philosophers of science, they also help us to understand the foundations and assumptions of scientific research, and guide us to reliable sources of information on which to [...]

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