Planet America: A Canadian Perspective on the U.S.

Planet America:A Canadian Perspective on the

More than 150 years ago, Frenchman Alexis de Toqueville offered
what is still one of the most influential critiques of American
democracy. Now, as we enter the voting booths to elect the first
president of the new millennium, we thought readers would once
again enjoy looking beyond our borders to see how the rest of the
world views us.

Toronto’s daily paper, The Globe and Mail, has
compiled a seven-article report that touches upon the kinds of
power the USA wields and the impact of its use. From business and
military muscle to the culture of the United States, this survey
provides a fascinating perspective from our northern

In Andrew Cohen’s stinging critique, ‘The Nation That Makes the
World Go Round,’ he writes: ‘[W]ho can deny the supremacy of the
United States today? Industry, finance, technology and information
give it economic power. Democracy, diversity and mobility give it
moral power. And arms and diplomacy give it military power. This is
America’s moment.’ He further asserts that many of the content,
self-absorbed people of the USA seem distanced from the rest of the

Jeffrey Simpson touches upon a different element of the
relationship between Canada and the United States in his article
‘Why We Love New York.’ Simpson interviews Graydon Carter, editor
of Vanity Fair and a native of Ottawa. Carter says he knew
from age 10 that he wanted to live in New York, ‘close to the
epicentre of North America’s most vibrant, exciting, chaotic city.’
When offered a job in the city during college, he accepted and has
lived there ever since.
–Sara V.
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