The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada
Routledge – 1991 – 352 pages
Routledge – 1991 – 352 pages
Seymour Martin Lipset's highly acclaimed work explores the distinctive character of American and Canadian values and institutions. Lipset draws material from a number of sources: historical accounts, critical interpretations of art, aggregate statistics and survey data, as well as studies of law, religion and government. Drawing a vivid portrait of the two countries, Continental Divide represents some of the best comparative social and political research available.
"Professor Lipset has given us a splendid account of where we are and a guide to our possible futures." -- New York Review of Books
"Continental Divide is welcome because in its quiet, carefully documented way it chips away at self-flattering illusions on both sides of the border . . . There is a lesson in this for those pessimists who think that cultural differences will be obliterated in the global village. For more than a century, America and Canada have proved just how enduring the narcissism of minor difference can be." -- New York Times Book Review
"Lipset has written a challenging book . . . a comprehensive and incisive analysis . . ." -- Toronto Globe and Mail
"One of the finest books ever to appear on the subject, Continental Divide explores how differing social mythologies give rise to contrasting sets of values, and therefore to differences in lifestyles and institutions, in the United States and Canada. It is hard to say which is more fascinating, the book's ongoing historical argument or the arresting facts and statistics that appear on nearly every page." -- Northrop Frye, University of Toronto
"This multidisciplinary comparative perspective contains much to interest economists, other social scientists, and general readers on both sides of the border. . . . What he [Lipset] has provided is a stimulating, provocative essay strongly suggesting the further research potential of Canada/U.S. comparisons." -- Journal of Economic Literature
"Lipset's comparative analysis of what makes these two countries tick and in which directions they are headed is important . . . . Lipset has vividly captured the disparate characters of American and Canadian societies and institutions, explaining the forces that made them so different and concluding that new forces may be making them more similar." -- Washington Post
Preface 1. Revolution and Counter-revolution: The Introduction 2. The American Ideology 3. The Canandian Identity 4. Literature and Myths: Canadian Perspectives 5. The Impact of Religion 6. Law and Deviance 7. Economic Behaviour and Culture 8. Government, Welfare, and Philanthropy 9. Social Stratification, Trade Unions, and Politics 10. Mosaic and Melting Pot 11. Center Periphery 12. Still Whig, Still Tory Notes Bibliography Index
Seymour Martin Lipset was professor emeritus of public policy at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was past president of both the American Political Science Association and the American Sociological Association.