Part of The Best Books of 2011 on the Western Hemisphere

The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future

 

Not every author admits to advocating a proposition “whose time has not yet arrived.” Pastor, a master scholar-practitioner, concedes that since 9/11, Canada, Mexico, and the United States have been slipping backward, away from the shared “spirit of community based on interdependence” that he advanced in his 2001 book, Toward a North American Community. The United States, in particular, has fortified its border rather than expand on the North American Free Trade Agreement. Undeterred, Pastor presses his case with intelligence and good humor, marshaling data to demonstrate that all three nations would be better off adopting cooperative solutions to common problems. Public opinion polls suggest that the citizens of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready for greater regional cooperation. To deflect “sovereignty-zealots” and other myopic opponents of broader integration, Pastor calls on leaders to articulate a hopeful vision of integration while making practical progress on immediate problems. His book constitutes a brave master plan, a bright vision to challenge and enlighten future generations.

 

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