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House of Anansi Press

The Unconscious Civilization

Written by John Ralston Saul

Published August 01, 2005 | ISBN 9780887847318

Cover of The Unconscious Civilization

Regular price $19.95 CAD

224 pages | 7.94 in × 5.06 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Unconscious Civilization

The CBC Massey Lectures

John Ralston Saul

Governor General's Award Winner

Tenth Anniverary Edition, with a new preface

Our society, John Ralston Saul argues in his 1995 CBC Massey Lectures, is only superficially based on the individual and democracy. Increasingly it is conformist and corporatist, a society in which legitimacy lies with specialist or interest groups and decisions are made through constant negotiations between these groups.

The paradox of our situation is that knowledge has not made us conscious. Instead, we have sought refuge in a world of illusion where language is cut off from reality. Reconnecting language to reality, clarifying what we mean by individualism and democracy, making these realities central to the citizen's life, identifying ideologies in order to control them, these are among the first elements of equilibrium which Saul proposes in these lectures.

About the Author

John Ralston Saul

John Ralston Saul was elected President of International PEN in October 2009. He is author of a number of national bestsellers. He lives in Toronto. Visit John Ralston Saul's website: Follow John Ralston Saul on Twitter:

Awards and Praise
  • Winner Gordon Montador Award, 1996
  • Winner Governor General's Award: Nonfiction, 1996