Not Here: Why American Democracy Is Eroding and How Canada Can Protect Itself (Hardcover)

Not Here: Why American Democracy Is Eroding and How Canada Can Protect Itself By Rob Goodman Cover Image
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What does it mean to live beside an eroding democracy? As this powerful and timely book argues, that question will define the next generation of Canadian politics.

As a congressional staffer in the United States, Rob Goodman watched firsthand as a rising authoritarian movement disenfranchised voters, sabotaged institutions, and brought America to the brink of a coup. Now, as a political theorist who makes his home in Canada, he has an urgent warning for his adopted country: The same forces that have upended democracy in America and around the world are on the move in Canada, too. But we can protect our democracy by drawing on a set of political, cultural, and historical resources that are distinctly of this place.

In Not Here, Goodman outlines four such resources. First, the rejection of the dangerous idea of one “real” Canadian people. Second, the refusal of political charisma and founder-worship. Third, a set of social programs—embattled but still standing—that empower neighbours to see one another as equals. And fourth, Canada’s longstanding search for an identity separate from the great power with which it shares a continent.

Today, that great power is a democracy in decline, and so defending what makes Canada distinct matters more now than ever before. Canadian difference is not a curiosity, a luxury good, or a vanity item. It is a democratic immune system.

Laying bare the historical roots of today’s politics and making an urgent case for action, Not Here is a roadmap for safeguarding a democracy under unprecedented threat.

About the Author

Rob Goodman is an assistant professor of politics and public administration at Toronto Metropolitan University, where he teaches and writes on topics such as populism, rhetoric, and the history of political thought. He previously worked as a speechwriter in the US House and Senate. He is an award-winning author and coauthor of several books, including Words on Fire: Eloquence and Its Conditions. He lives in Toronto with his family.

Praise For…

Praise for Not Here

“During the first American Civil War, Canada became a confederation. Now, in light of a similar chaos and decline on our southern border, we face another moment of national reckoning. Rob Goodman is perfectly placed to answer the most important national question of this moment: How are we not going to be like that?”
— STEPHEN MARCHE, author of The Next Civil War

“The story of how Canada has learned to live with complexity while rejecting the European and U.S. monolithic-style nation state. A powerful rethink of what mythology—or mythologies—can be in this multilayered society. And finally, a wave of stories about the intentionality required to build a country like Canada. In other words, an important book.”
— JOHN RALSTON SAUL, bestselling author of The Comeback and A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668012437
ISBN-10: 166801243X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 15th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English