Noah Richler is unimpressed

The son of one famed family, and keen student of Canada himselfreviews the work of another.

And yet, while schoolteacher William’s place in the “inheritance” helps explain a little of the book’s pandering tone, it does not excuse how this one is not enquiring, bold or controversial in the way that Ignatieff’s other books are. What could have been the set of penetrating reflections about Canada that Ignatieff’s literary followers have good reason to expect, or even the more thorough biography of his uncle George Grant, or his grandfather George, that might have ensued from the original project, has evolved instead into a slim and disappointing brochure intended to advertise the author’s apparently incontestable Canadian pedigree.

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