Warrior Nation

Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety

Table of contents

Prologue Chapter 1 War and Peace and Paper Cranes Chapter 2 Pax Britannica and the White Man’s Burden: The African Exploits of William Stairs Chapter 3 From War to War to War: The Battles of Tommy Burns Chapter 4 Pearson, Endicott, and the Cold War: Peacekeeping as Passive Revolution Chapter 5 Peacekeeping and the Monster of Imperialism Chapter 6 The Decade of Darkness: Peacekeeping at a Crossroads Chapter 7 Yellow Ribbons and Indian Country: New Warriors on the March Chapter 8 Military Fantasylands and the Gated Peaceable Kingdom Notes List of Illustrations Index


Once known for peacekeeping, Canada is becoming a militarized nation whose apostles, the New Warriors, are fighting to shift public opinion. New Warrior zealots seek to transform postwar Canada’s central myth-symbols. Peaceable kingdom. Just society. Multicultural tolerance. Reasoned public debate. Their replacements? A warrior nation. Authoritarian leadership. Permanent political polarization.

The tales cast a vivid light on a story that is crucial to Canada?s future; yet they are also compelling history. Swashbuckling marauder William Stairs, the Royal Military College graduate who helped make the Congo safe for European pillage. Vimy Ridge veteran and Second World War general Tommy Burns, leader of the UN’s first big peacekeeping operation, a soldier who would come to call imperialism ‘the monster of the age. ’ Governor General John Buchan, a concentration camp developer and race theorist who is exalted in the Harper government’s new Citizenship Guide. And that uniquely Canadian paradox, Lester Pearson. Warrior Nation is an essential read for those concerned by the relentless effort to conscript Canadian history.


  • Short-listed, John W. Dafoe Book Prize 2012
  • Runner-up, Independent Publisher Book Award for Current Events (Foreign Affairs/Military) 2013


Thoroughly researched and surprisingly entertaining.

- Globe & Mail