Seymour Martin Lipset's highly acclaimed work is now available in paperback. Lipset draws material for his study from a number of sources: historical accounts, interpretations of literature and other creative arts by critics, qualitative studies of institutions such as law, religion, and government, aggregate statistics and survey data gathered by social scientists and commercial pollsters. Drawing a vivid portrait of the two countries, Continental Divide represents some of the best comparative social and political research being done today.
Lipset's main thesis is that the differences between the United States and Canada can be traced to their founding. The United States, the revolutionary nation, was founded on the principles of ``life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'' In contrast, the ``Fathers of the Canadian Confederation'' were seeking ``peace, order, and good government.'' Lipset (political science and sociology, Stanford Univ.) focuses on the values of the two societies--the United States prizes individualism; Canada, collectivism. While the work is important as there have been no comparable efforts, it will appeal primarily to scholars.-- Jeffrey Kraus, Wagner Coll., Staten Island, New York