Issues

January–February 2015

As we move into election season, many writers are focusing on the Conservative government’s record on foreign policy. Madelaine Drohan, Canadian correspondent for The Economist, takes on two recent and conflicting titles – Fen Hampson and Derek Burney‘s Brave New Canada and Jerome Klassen‘s Joining Empire – and demonstrates how differently they see Stephen Harper’s legacy. While Klassen views Ottawa as concerned basically with trade, trade and more trade, Hampson and Burney find the current government still too tied up with romantic (Liberal) notions of peacekeeping and honest brokering.

With deindustrialization proceeding grimly apace in central Canada, Bruce Smardon asks, in his new book Asleep at the Switch, why Canada has proven so laggardly when it comes to innovation. Our reviewer, Dimitry Anastakis, an expert on the automotive industry, finds Smardon’s Marxist-tinted analysis largely correct but unnecessarily pessimistic.

Bees, we are rapidly learning, are essential to our well-being in their crucial role as the planet’s most efficient pollinators of agricultural crops. But according to Mark Winston, in Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, they are equally valuable as social tutors. In Ernesto Guzman‘s review, he details the kind of “altruism” and “dialogue” prevalent in bee colonies that leads Winston to draw noteworthy pedagogical parallels to human interactions.

Engrossing reading for cold winter evenings!

Bronwyn Drainie

Editor