The essays in this volume, which explore the Canadian condition at the beginning of the eighties, deal with fundamental issues of concern to all thoughtful Canadians. The eight essayists are distinguished historians and political scientists: Louis Balthazar, Michael Bliss, Robert Craig Brown, Ramsay Cook, J.R. Mallory, H.V. Nelles, Donald Smiley, and Denis Smith. In addressing four basic themes-the nation and nationality, Quebec and the referendum, the economy and the state, and Parliament and politicians-they suggest new answers to those perennial Canadian questions: Who are we? What are we doing together? How shall we go about our common business? As the editors observe in their introduction: '...such matters as the identity, purpose, and functioning of a nation are the great issues of modern society, and each community and each age must resolve them anew. That task has fallen to Canadians at the dawn of the 1980s, and to the ongoing deliberations all the writers in this volume have made a contribution.'
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