Issues

March 2013

Continuing our series on Canada and the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), we are pleased this month to feature David Hornsby, a Canadian scholar currently teaching at the University of Witwatersrand and a specialist on the Canada-South Africa relationship. “A Relationship that once appeared strong and full of opportunity is now disconnected and difficult,” he writes, recalling the close ties from the final days of Apartheid and through the 1990s. Our relations now sit, he writes, “on the precipice of inconsequence” which is not a good place for either country to be.

The epic battle over the gun registry is only the latest chapter in a story recounted in R. Blake Brown‘s new book, Arming and Disarming: The History of Gun Control in Canada. Our reviewer is Christian Pearce, co-author of Enter the Babylon System: Unpacking Gun Culture from Samuel Colt to Fifty Cent, who analyses in considerable detail the differences between the support for guns in Canada and the U.S.

The engaging science writer David Orrell tackles an ancient question in his new book, Truth or Beauty?: Science and the Quest for Order in which he argues that a search for aesthetic perfection may have led scientists towards ideal structures and away from observable realities. Reviewing him is Siobhan Roberts whose own work includes biographies of two mathematicians, Donald Coxeter and John Horton Conway, for whom symmetry and beauty have always been paramount considerations.

And media commentator Tony Burman evaluates Is This Your First War?: Travels Through the Post 9/11 Islamic World, a journalist’s vision of a tense and turbulent decade written by Macleans reporter Michael Petrou.

Some challenging reading for the last month (we hope) of winter!

Bronwyn Drainie Editor