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Lament for a Nation: Then and Now

Lament for a Nation: Then and Now
By Ron Dart

Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism was published in 1965, and, like a modern Jeremiah, George Grant lamented the passing away of a more classical and High Tory vision in Canada. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Lament for a Nation—the probes Grant sent forth in 1965 have returned in a graphic manner in our late modern and postmodern ethos. Lament for a Nation: Then and Now reflects upon the writing on the Western wall that Grant has left us and the perennial message for us today if we have but the eyes to see the cul-de-sac of the unfolding of the enfolding of liberalism.

Professor Ron Dart has taught in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, since 1990. He was on staff with Amnesty International in the 1980s. He is the political science advisor to the Stephen Leacock Home and Museum, and serves on the board of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and the Society of Archbishop Secker. He has published more than twenty-five books, served as an editor for The Anglican Catholic, and The Friend: The High Tory Review, and has contributed poems, articles, and reviews to a wide range of publications in both North America and the United Kingdom. Ron Dart is one of the primary experts on the life and thought of George Grant as well as on the larger North American High-Red Tory tradition to which he belongs.

“Grant's lament, of course, was not merely a cry of despair (or one would not write at all), but rather, functioned as a wake-up call to Canada, a nation that was losing its unique identity and becoming a vassal state of American culture -- sliding into the hegemony of liberalism that spans from far right to far left in the culture wars south of the border. In part, the lament achieved its goal in triggering a resurgence of Canadian nationalism, but its echo needs to be heard again, more now than ever.

Ron Dart, Canada's leading active Grant scholar, has written a booklet revisiting these themes, entitled Lament for a Nation: Then and Now (American Anglican Press, 2015), In a series of insightful essays, Dart explores the relevance of Grant's urgent message for us today.” – Dr Brad Jersak, The Owl: George Grant Journal, 13 May 2015.

“Dart provides us with timely, much needed, insights and perspectives on Canadian political history and philosophy, which not only help our understanding as we read, or reread, George Grant’s book, but the booklet of itself sketches the groundwork of an alternative philosophical path for us as we ponder our political choices this election year amidst the din of political rhetoric and spectacle of absurd attack adds.” – Rev’d Henry Smidstra, Clarion: Journal of Spirituality and Justice, 5 June 2015.

“The more I learn about Grant thanks to Ron Dart and David Cayley, the more I am impressed. This booklet, though brief, points to an urgency first heralded so brilliantly by George Grant 50 years ago upon the publication of his Lament For a Nation. Dart states in the Preface that 'There is a direct line and lineage, in short, from the principles and ideas articulated in Political Realignment [written by Ernest and Preston Manning] and the form of conservatism that dominates Canada and much of republicanism in the United States.' Grant’s Lament is committed to “an older and deeper notion of what is worth conserving”. 'Lament for a Nation is a lament, therefore, about the way a driven and ambitious form of liberalism has banished the contemplative way and enthroned the active way…'. ” – Wayne Northey, Mitre and Crown, 14 June 2015.

vi + 38 pages
American Anglican Press, April 2015
ISBN-10: 0996324801
ISBN-13: 978-0-9963248-0-9

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