Garth Stevenson, Building Nations from Diversity:
Canadian and American Experience Compared.
Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.
Garth Stevenson is no stranger to Inroads readers. He has written trenchantly, and with a measured lack of deference to prevailing opinion, on a variety of topics – most recently the demand for an inquiry into missing Aboriginal women (see p. 31 of this issue). He brings these same qualities to his treatment of issues of diversity, an ongoing interest of his and the subject of his most recent book.
Another characteristic of Stevenson’s work is his extensive familiarity with both Canada and the United States, allowing him to switch easily back and forth between the two. Too often the Canada-U.S. border is treated as a Great Wall, and what happens on one side of the border as an entirely separate matter from what happens on the other. While the subtitle of Stevenson’s book announces a comparison between Candian and American experience, what he really does is more subtle and more consistent with reality: he approaches the North American continent north of Mexico as an integrated whole, with the existence of two separate political entities being only one of many factors in play.