A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada

A Fair CountruyJohn Ralston Saul talks about Canada’s history and how Aboriginals helped to develop our country. In this startlingly original vision of Canada, thinker John Ralston Saul unveils 3 founding myths. Saul argues that the famous “peace, order, and good government” that supposedly defines Canada is a distortion of the country’s true nature. Every single document before the BNA Act, he points out, used the phrase “peace, welfare, and good government,” demonstrating that the well-being of its citizenry was paramount. He also argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Another obstacle to progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.

The Orenda

I awake. A few minutes, maybe, of troubled sleep. My teeth chatter so violently I can taste I’ve bitten my swollen tongue. Spitting red into the snow, I try to rise but my body’s seized. The oldest Huron, their leader, who kept us walking all night around the big lake rather than across it because of some ridiculous dream, stands above me with a thorn club. The weight of these men give their dreams will be the end of them.

Although I still know little of their language, I understand the words he whispers and force myself to roll over when the club swings towards me. The thorns bite into my back and the bile of curses that pour from my mouth make the Hurons convulse with laughter. I am sorry, Lord, to use Your name in vain.

This is plight of a Jesuit priest in the opening scene of Joseph Boyden’s newest novel, The Orenda. It is an ancient story, but it is now told with fresh insight and, happily, a new perspective. History is rough and raw and this story is no exception. The story revolves around a kidnapped princess, a Jesuit missionary and an elder in the Huron nation. Their worlds collide but Boyden keeps the emotions raw as he steers us into the truth.

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The History of the Kelly Gang

Booker prize winning novel is a true gem. If you love an old fashioned western with the rich land barons and the new “law” persecuting the poor farmers and ranchers, then this novel is for you.

Excerpt from author’s site:

To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist. Sample the novel HERE