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Encyclopedia > John Ralston Saul
Image:Bigphotojonralstonsaulcc.jpg
John Ralston Saul, CC , Ph.D

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John Ralston Saul, CC , Ph.D (born June 19, 1947) is a Canadian author and essayist. John Ralston may refer to: John Ralston, the American football player John Ralston, the American rock musician John Ralston Saul, the Canadian author John de Ralston, a 15th century Scottish bishop and administrator Category: ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country. ... Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. ... June 19 is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 195 days remaining. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... An essayist is an author who writes compositions which can be about any particular subject. ...


As an essayist Saul is particularly known for his commentaries on the nature of individualism, citizenship and the public good; the failures of manager-, or more precisely technocrat-, led societies; the confusion between leadership and managerialism; military strategy, in particular irregular warfare; the role of freedom of speech and culture; and his critique of contemporary economic arguments. Technocrat can refer to: An individual who makes decisions based solely on technical information and not personal or public opinion. ...

Contents

Biography

Born in Ottawa, Saul studied at McGill University in Montreal and at the University of London, where he earned his Ph.D in 1972. After helping to set up the national oil company Petro-Canada, as Assistant to its first Chair, he turned his attention to writing. This article is about the capital city of Canada. ... McGill University is a publicly funded, non-denominational, co-educational research university located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... Nickname: City of Mary (Ville-Marie) Motto: Concordia Salus (salvation through harmony) Coordinates: Country Canada Province Quebec Founded 1642 Established 1832 Government  - Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area [1] [2] [3]  - City 365. ... The University of London is a university based primarily in London. ... Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated Ph. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Petro-Canada is a Canadian oil and gas firm headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. ...


As a novelist

His first novel, The Birds of Prey, was an international best seller. He then published The Field Trilogy, which deals with the crisis of modern power and its clash with the individual. It includes Baraka or The Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor of Anthony Smith, The Next Best Thing, and The Paradise Eater, which won the prestigious Premio Letterario Internazionale in Italy. De Si Bons Americains is a picaresque novel in which he observes the life of modern nouveaux riches Americans.


As an essayist

Voltaire's Bastards, The Doubter's Companion and The Unconscious Civilization

His philosophical essays began with the trilogy made up of the bestseller Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, the polemic philosophical dictionary The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, and the book that grew out of his 1995 Massey Lectures, The Unconscious Civilization. The last won the 1996 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction Literature. The Massey Lectures are a prestigious annual event in Canada, in which a noted Canadian or international scholar gives a week-long series of lectures on a political, cultural or philosophical topic. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Since their creation in 1937, the Governor Generals Literary Awards have become one of Canadas most prestigious prizes, awarded in both French and English in seven categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Childrens Literature-Text, Childrens Literature-Illustration, and Translation. ...


These books deal with themes such as the dictatorship of reason unbalanced by other human qualities, how it can be used for any ends especially in a directionless state that rewards the pursuit of power for power's sake. He argues that this leads to deformations of thought such as ideology promoted as truth; the rational but anti-democratic structures of corporatism, by which he means the worship of small groups; and the use of language and expertise to mask a practical understanding of the harm this causes, and what else our society might do. He argues that the rise of individualism with no regard for the role of society has not created greater individual autonomy and self-determination, as was once hoped, but isolation and alienation. He calls for a pursuit of a more humanist ideal in which reason is balanced with other human mental capacities such as common sense, ethics, intuition, creativity, and memory, for the sake of the common good, and he discusses the importance of unfettered language and practical democracy. It has been suggested that reasoning be merged into this article or section. ... An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Common dictionary definitions of truth mention some form of accord with fact or reality. ... ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Expertise is the property of a person (that is, expert) or of a system which delivers a desired result such as pertinent information or skill. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ēthikos, the adjective of ēthos custom, habit), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of values and customs of a person or group and covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility. ... Intuition is an unconscious form of knowledge. ... Look up Creativity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In psychology, memory is an organisms ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ...


Reflections of a Siamese Twin

He expanded on these themes as they relate to Canada and its history and culture in Reflections of a Siamese Twin. In this book, he coined the idea of Canada being a "soft" country, meaning not that the nation is weak, but that it is has a flexible and complex identity, as opposed to the unyielding or monolithic identities of other states. Canada is a country of 32 million inhabitants that occupies the northern portion of the North American continent, and is the worlds second largest country in area. ... It has been said that Canadian culture rests solely in the effort to distinguish itself from its southern neighbour, the United States. ...


He argued that Canada's complex national identity is made up of the "triangular reality" of the three nations that compose it: First Peoples, francophones, and anglophones. He emphasizes the willingness of these Canadian nations to compromise with one another, as opposed to resorting to open confrontations. In the same vein, he criticizes both those in the Quebec separatist Montreal School for emphasizing the conflicts in Canadian history and the Orange Order and the Clear Grits traditionally seeking clear definitions of Canadian-ness and loyalty. First Peoples is a term used in Canada as an alternative to Native Americans to refer to the First Nations, the Inuit, and the Métis, collectively. ... Look up Francophone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Anglophone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Political separatism is a movement to obtain sovereignty and split a territory or group of people (usually a people with a distinctive national consciousness) from one another (or one nation from another; a colony from the metropolis). ...


On Equilibrium

His next book, On Equilibrium (2001), is effectively the conclusion to his philosophical trilogy. It is about six qualities that all of us possess: Common Sense, Ethics, Imagination, Intuition, Memory, and Reason. He describes how these inner forces serve us, how we can use them to balance each other, and what happens when they are unbalanced such as when one is used in isolation such as when there is a "Dictatorship of Reason". 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Collapse of Globalism

In an article written for Harper's magazine and published in the magazine's March 2004 issue under the title The Collapse of Globalism and the Rebirth of Nationalism, he argued that the globalist ideology was under attack by counter-movements. Saul rethought and developed this argument in The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World (2005). Far from being an inevitable force, Saul argued that globalization is already breaking up into contradictory pieces and that citizens are reasserting their national interests in both positive and destructive ways. An issue of Harpers Magazine from 1905 Another issue, from November 2004 Harpers Magazine (or simply Harpers) is a monthly magazine of politics and culture. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A KFC franchise in Kuwait. ...


Activities

John Saul is co-Chair of the new Institute for Canadian Citizenship. He is Patron and former president of the Canadian Centre of International PEN. He is also Founder and Honorary Chair of French for the Future, Chair of the Advisory Board for the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecture series, and a Patron of PLAN (a cutting edge organization tied to people with disabilities), Engineers Without Borders (Canada), and the Canadian Landmine Foundation. A Companion in the Order of Canada (1999), he is also Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France (1996). His 14 honorary degrees range from McGill University and the University of Ottawa to Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia. From 1999 until 2006 when his wife Adrienne Clarkson was Governor General of Canada he was Canada's vice-regal consort. Logo of International PEN International PEN, the worldwide association of writers, was founded in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere; to emphasise the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture; to fight for freedom of expression; and to act as... The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a Canadian forum created through the joint effort of John Ralston Saul and the Dominion Institute. ... Engineers Without Borders — Ingénieurs sans frontières (Canada) (abbreviated EWB-ISF Canada or, more commonly, EWB in English or ISF in French) is a Non-governmental organisation devoted to international development. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... Chevalier can be: French for knight, a rank in the Légion dhonneur. ... The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Literature) is an Order of France, established on May 2, 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of lOrdre National du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... McGill University is a publicly funded, non-denominational, co-educational research university located in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... The University of Ottawa or Université dOttawa in French (also known as uOttawa or nicknamed U of O or Ottawa U) is a bilingual [1], research-intensive, non-denominational, international university in Ottawa, Ontario. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and... Adrienne Louise Clarkson (Chinese: ; pinyin: , Hakka: Ńg Pên-kî), PC, CC, CMM, COM, CD, LL.D(honoris causa) (born February 10, 1939) is an accomplished Canadian journalist. ... A Governor-General (in Canada always, and frequently in India prior to the abolition of the last monarchy, Governor General) is most generally a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above ordinary governors [1]. The most common contemporary usage of the term is to refer to the...


Bibliography

Fiction

  • The Birds of Prey (1977)
  • Baraka (1983)
  • The Next Best Thing (1986)
  • The Paradise Eater (1988)
  • De si bons Américains (1994)

Baraka, or the Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor of Anthony Smith (commonly referred to simply as Baraka) is a novel written by Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul, and first published in 1983. ...

Non-fiction

  • Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (1992)
  • The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense (1994)
  • The Unconscious Civilization (1995)
  • Le Citoyen dans un cul-de-sac?: Anatomie d'une société en crise (1996)
  • Reflections of a Siamese Twin: Canada at the End of the Twentieth Century (1997)
  • On Equilibrium: Six Qualities of the New Humanism (2001)
  • The John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture (2004)
  • The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World (2005)
  • Joseph Howe and the Battle for Freedom of Speech (2006)

Honours

  • Italy's Premio Letterario Internazionale, for The Paradise Eater (1990)
  • Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres de France (1996)
  • Gordon Montador Award, for The Unconscious Civilization (1996)
  • Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction, for The Unconscious Civilization (1996)
  • Gordon Montador Award, for Reflections of a Siamese Twin (1998)
  • Companion of the Order of Canada (1999)
  • Knight of Justice, the Order of St. John (1999).
  • Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honour(2004)

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Literature) is an Order of France, established on May 2, 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of lOrdre National du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963. ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
John Ralston Saul
Preceded by
Diana Fowler LeBlanc
Viceregal Consort of Canada
1999–2005
Succeeded by
Jean-Daniel Lafond

  Results from FactBites:
 
John Ralston Saul - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (894 words)
John Ralston Saul, CC, Ph.D (born June 19, 1947) is a Canadian author, essayist and philosopher.
Born in Ottawa, Saul studied at McGill University in Montreal and at the University of London, where he earned his Ph.D in 1972.
He calls for a pursuit of a more humanist ideal in which reason is balanced with other human mental capacities such as common sense, ethics, intuition, creativity, and memory, for the sake of the common good, and he discusses the importance of unfettered language and practical democracy.
John Ralston Saul, "In Defense of Public Education" (265 words)
John Ralston Saul is the husband of the Governor General of Canada, Adrian Clarkson.
Saul has said in the past that "any willful undermining of universal public education by our governments and the direct or indirect encouragement of private education would be a flagrant betrayal of the basic principles of middle-class representative democracy." This concerns all citizens, not only those connected to the school system.
John Ralston Saul's lecture is the first in a series of events to be sponsored by the Vancouver School Board and its education partner groups over the course of the year.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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