In This Review

Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies
Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies
By John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall
University Of Georgia Press, 1994, 387 pp.

The ninth volume in a distinguished series, edited by Lester Langley, on the United States and the Americas. Thompson and Randall, professors at Duke and Calgary, provide a judicious overview of the "asymmetrical" and "essentially one-sided" relationship between the United States and Canada. While Americans, as a Canadian columnist once complained, "know and care the square root of squat" about their northern neighbor, Canadian identities have been deeply shaped by an ambivalent and normally obsessive relationship with the American behemoth. Given the range of years and topics covered (the authors begin with the revolutionary collapse of the first British Empire in 1776 and devote considerable attention to social and cultural factors along the way), the book tends to proceed by way of summary judgment and witty anecdote but is nevertheless impartial and authoritative. The authors see the alignment of policies from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, under the Tories and Republicans, as a deviation from the norm and believe that the weight of history will set strict limits on the emergence of "a new consensus and convergence" between the two countries.