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The North American High Tory Tradition

The North American High Tory Tradition
By Ron Dart

Foreword by Jonathan M. Paquette

A significant struggle began in the year 1776 over the fate of a continent, and there are those who believe that this struggle ended in the year 1783, with the ancient ways of the Old World being given over entirely to those of a New. Is it true, however, that the end of what has been called ‘The First American Civil War’ saw the complete victory of the republican way, and the banishment of the older Tory tradition from these shores? The North American High Tory Tradition tells another story, one in which a different vision for life in North America emerges from the cold of the True North where its flame has been kept burning until the present day. George Grant (1918–1988), the most influential High Tory intellectual of the 20th century, warned us in his Lament for a Nation of the collision course which lies ahead for these two different ‘North Americas’—that embodied in the Dominion of the North, and that in the Republic to its South. Is the disappearance of the Tory alternative an inevitable fate to our future as ‘North Americans’? In The North American High Tory Tradition Ron Dart shines light upon the classical lineage, deep wisdom and enduring nature of the High Tory tradition as it has been planted and grown in the soil of North America, and in doing so reveals how Canada may serve as a north star to lead North Americans to a different destiny than that planned for them by a certain few in 1776.

Professor Ron Dart has taught in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies at the 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 boards of the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and the Society of Archbishop Secker. He has published more than thirty books, served as an editor for The Anglican Catholic, The Friend: The High Tory Review and Anglican Tradition journals and has contributed poems, articles and reviews to a wide range of publications in both North America and the United Kingdom. Ron Dart is a leading authority on the North American High–Red Tory religio-political tradition.

Praise for Ron Dart and The North American High Tory Tradition:

‘Ron Dart has become the most important writer about Red Toryism in Canada.’ ― Robin Mathews, Carleton University and Simon Fraser University

‘Dart produced one of the most innovative and imaginative literary magazines in the country [The High Tory Review] … Dart is capable of producing first rate scholarship. One of his books [Athens and Jerusalem: George Grant’s Theology, Philosophy, and Politics], was an edited volume that attracted some very fine scholars from across Canada and was published by one of Canada’s leading academic outlets, the University of Toronto Press.’ ― William Christian, University of Guelph

‘Those interested in alternatives to liberalism will find it well worth their time to read The North American High Tory Tradition, the most recent collection of Ron Dart’s writings, containing his best insights into matters political, philosophical and theological.’ ― Gerry T. Neal, Anglican Tradition

The North American High Tory Tradition serves as a passkey to this patrimony through its expert exegesis of essential texts and figures from Canada’s history. Professor Dart’s work therefore has earned a rightful place on university syllabi and among curious readers eager to know more of Canada’s proud history. In future years, it will become a vital text for students of Canadian political traditions.’ ― Jonathan M. Paquette, from the Foreword

‘The Anglosphere has long experienced a condition of civilizational amnesia. The North American High Tory Tradition is a contribution to the cure. This cure is not only of historical interest. As Strachan, Leacock, and Grant realized, the destruction of the Anglo-Tory ethos was not carried out by dialectic and historical inevitability, but by men. The cure and redemption of the Anglo-American order will also come only from men.’ ― Mark Christensen, Social Matter

‘But if Toryism is to mean anything but “a defence of class interests, attractively packaged as an appeal to the past,” then it must mean, above all, a critique of the Enlightenment programme, and it is for the liberal philosopher from Locke to Hegel — the “bloodstained minions of liberty” — that Dart reserves his most withering scorn. At stake here is a rewriting and rebuke of the Enlightenment as the destroyer of a harmonious feudal ethos in the name of a “freedom” which turned out to be that of the “possessive, competitive, accumulating, market-driven autonomous and atomistic individual.”’ ― Daniel Velarde, The Dorchester Review

‘Now, Ron Dart, though already profound and prolific in this field, has released his magnum opus on The North American High Tory Tradition (American Anglican Press, 2016). This weighty work of politics, philosophy, literature and theology surely cements Ron's place as the leading High Tory scholar in Canada, if not the world.’ ― Bradley Jersak, Clarion: Journal of Spirituality and Justice

‘Indeed, when it comes to discussing the High Tory tradition, there is probably nobody better suited to the task than Professor Dart.’ ― Robert Williams, Mitre and Crown

‘The North American High Tory Tradition (2016), by Professor Ron Dart, is an appeal to North Americans to remember an aspect of their collective history that has too often been forgotten, or misunderstood and caricatured. ... The turn southward that this book represents lends credence to the potential contemporary relevance of pre-Revolution thought for the United States.’ ― Cameron Lesage, The Owl: George Grant Journal

‘Dart’s book is most timely because it offers today’s disillusioned voters something more edifying to think about’ ― C. S. Morrissey, Trinity Western University

‘The importance of The North American High Tory Tradition cannot be emphasized enough’ – Charles A. Coulombe, KCStS, New Oxford Review

xxxviii, 337 pages
American Anglican Press, 2016
ISBN 978-0-9963248-4-7

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