Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values
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Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Our front pages scream US military, social and fiscal policy. It may appear that — with immigration questions, airport and border restrictions, debate about common currency and talk of private health clinics — we are drifting inevitably towards a greater political and philosophical alliance with the United States. The implication is that we share their values. As Canadians...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Penguin Global (first published 2003)
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Channing
Aug 23, 2007 Channing rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: North Americans and people that dig North Americans.
I had the (mostly) good fortune of dating a Canadian girl* for about a year and the experience alerted me to the realization that even an educated, well-traveled, cultured wanker like me could labor under the misapprehension that Canadians were just Americans with health insurance, a funny accent, a weaker dollar, and French cereal boxes...Nothing could be further from the truth. (Although they DO have pretty damn funny accents). Michael Adams charts how far from being sucked into a more "Americ...more
Jeff
I was given this book as part of a post-grad course with an assignment to write about any insights into Canadian culture I found. Unfortunately, most of the insights in gleaned from this book are insights into the author's worldview. Although based on surveys, the book is mostly ideological leaps made by the author, skewing the survey results to back up his preconceived notion that Canadian and American values are diverging rather than tracking on similar paths.

The basic premise of the book can...more
Michele
Written by a social economist, the book is a report of thousands of surveys of both Canadians and Americans over the last decade. The surveys rated respondents on social values scales like violence, religiousity, independence, idealism and survivalism. It is probably the most interesting and well written book of statistics I have ever seen.

Adams doesn't pull any punches when it comes to pointing out the negative values that emerge from the surveys, something that seemed to irritate many of his c...more
Brad
Do you think people right books about the differences between Australia and New Zealand? Just a question. For those of us who live in Canada the differences between the Canadians and Americans seem pretty obvious and we should cherish those differences. However it seams to me that the author had an ageneda or bias before he even started his research. Anything he found was going to support his already established opinion. So he ends up painting a picture of Americans as fat, overworked, stressed,...more
Primrose
Anyone who thinks Canadians and Americans can be lumped into one category culturally should read this book. Michael Adams is a social values researcher who surveyed both countries and came up with some surprising results. A very interesting and informative read.
Daniel Kukwa
A solid book of analysis, but the writing style is too dry for my taste. It also feels slightly dated...which makes me wonder if a Can/US culture comparison can ever be truly generalized, or only a snapshot of any particular era.
Sharon
Canada and the United States are not experiencing converging values.
Rebecca
Fascinating book. We all knew that there are differences between Canadian and American culture but I've never seen it laid out in such a clear, logical, and scientific analysis. I think if you're Canadian you're going to love this book (obviously, bebcause it's written from a Canadian point of view so it's pro-Canadian). If you're American, you may find this book interesting if you are open minded to new social ideas etc., or a democrat. If you're American and are in the Sarah Palin/ultra Republ...more
Jon
Jul 01, 2007 Jon marked it as to-read
He gave an awesome lecture on TV Ontario's "Big Ideas". His thesis is that the real difference isn't as much between red and blue Americans/states; but rather those who do and do not participate in the political process. This fits right into the questions and ideas Michael Moore raises in "Sicko".
Angela
Politics between Canada & US. This is a dead on book of truth in how the 2 countries are so divided. I thought of this book after Obama rejected the pipeline.
Jennifer
Interesting take on how Canada and the United States seem to be changing in their ideological stance (with Canada becoming more like the US)
Nancy
interesting, but sadly quite biased. he might be onto something but it's hard for me to share this with my american friends the way it's presented.
Jana
really interesting look at the cultural differences between Canada and the US. Nothing is said here that isn't backed up by data.
Andre
A poorly-researched book in which the author uses carefully-worded polling questions to obtain the data he needs to back his arguments.
Charlotte
Excellent look at the differences between Canada and the US. A must read for anyone thinking we are converging into one nation.
Mike
Hopelessly biased.
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Michael Adams has been a restaurant dishwasher, television host, ice-cream scooper, toilet scrubber, magazine journalist, ecohouse lab rat, film reviewer, social media curator, telemarketing jerk, reality TV scribe and B-movie zombie. This one time, he watched bad movies at the rate of one per day for an entire year and wrote a book about the traumatic experience, which is called Showgirls, Teen W...more
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