January 07, 2007

Seymour Martin Lipset, 1922-2006

The political sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset died on New Year's Eve. Over his long and distinguished career, he wrote a great deal worth reading if one wants to understand the United States and its place in the world, including American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword.

But especially for Canadians, and American-Canadians, you can't do better than his Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada, published in 1989, which does a tremendous job explaining Americans to Canadians and themselves, and Canadians to Americans and themselves. In fact, with the kids beginning their studies about the American Revolution, I think it's time for me to pull those two of the shelves for a rereading.

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