For how much longer can Canada expect to get a free ride?
With 9/11 and the international “war on terrorism,” the time has come to ask some hard questions. Should we continue to starve our military, reduce our humanitarian assistance, dilute our diplomacy, and absent ourselves from global intelligence-gathering? Can we expect to sit at the global table by virtue of our economic power without pursuing a foreign policy worthy of our history, geography, and diversity?
Canada has been getting by on the cheap, writes Andrew Cohen in this timely, forceful, and insightful new book. Our reluctance to pay our own way has had a cost: it has eroded the pillars of our international stature. We are still trading on the reputation this country built two generations ago, but it is a reputation we no longer deserve. We claim to be engaged abroad, but for too long we have been a freeloader, trying to do the same for less, practising pinch-penny diplomacy and foreign policy on the cheap. Our capacity in these key areas has become glaringly inadequate, and now that weakness is compromising our ability to honour our traditional commitments overseas.
The time is ripe for a thorough re-examination of our foreign policy, to affirm our values, to win the respect of our allies, to carry our weight.
From the Hardcover edition.
About Andrew Cohen
Andrew Cohen has written widely on international affairs over his career of twenty-five years. His previous books include A Deal Undone: The Making and Breaking of the Meech Lake Accord, Trudeau’s Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau (co-edited with J.L. Granatstein), and While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and a Globe and Mail Notable Book. Cohen writes a weekly column for several newspapers and was a 2006 finalist for a National Newspaper Award. He is a commentator on radio and television and lives in Ottawa.
“Relentlessly chronicles just how far this country has fallen from global grace.”
“In well-crafted prose and on a foundation of extensive knowledge of our diplomatic history, Cohen recounts a tale of how we have created… a make-believe foreign policy.”
–Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star
“A trenchant critique of modern Canadian foreign policy.”
“Cohen’s contribution is invaluable. A book full of… rich detail, written with passion and engaging prose.… A must read for all of those who wish to understand the roots of Canada’s global outlook.”
–Globe and Mail
“Mr. Cohen… has hit the bull’s-eye.”
–Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail
“There could hardly be a better time for While Canada Slept, Andrew Cohen’s cogent and sobering survey of this country’s long slide into the margins of global importance.… A powerful indictment of how we’ve neglected our role in the world.”
“Provocative and persuasive.… [Cohen’s] arguments are persuasive and ably defended in a book that is brisk, on the mark and wonderfully readable.”
–London Free Press
“Persuasive and compelling.… A long-awaited wake-up call to Canadians who have for years been blinded in a glare of self-satisfaction about their own international importance.”
“Cohen has pulled together a well-written, engaging and timely book. This is clearly a must-read for all Canadians interested in our glorious past and in Canada having an influential voice in the world once again.”
“The articulation of foreign policy and the integration of its various elements (diplomatic, aid, military and financial) should be high on [the next prime minister’s] list of his or her policy challenges. If so, much will be owed to Andrew Cohen for this passionate, informative, entertaining and mostly convincing volume.”
–David Malone, Literary Review of Canada
" Excellent … This is an exceptionally easy book to read – popular but built on scholarship and masterly in its smooth transitions."
–Douglas Fisher, Legion Magazine
From the Hardcover edition.
FINALIST 2003 Governor General's Literary Award - Nonfiction