Understanding Canada

Government intervention in the lives of Canadians has grown enormously over the past ten years, as our country and its people struggle towards a sense of identity and purpose. How much can the State help us to develop, as individuals and as citizens? And how much can each of us do on our own to achieve personal and community development?

Understanding Canada traces the concept of community development from its beginnings in colonial Africa to recent attempts at self help in Canada, and relates it to the ideas of individualism and liberalism. Focusing especially on the Atlantic Provinces, the author looks at efforts to ‘help” the poor from the top down and from the bottom up. He analyzes the successes of the approach of the Antigonish Movement which flourished in the Thirties.Jim Lotz’ suggested models, goals and roles in community development indicate that we can meet rapid change in a positive and creative way.

Since 1960, Jim Lotz has carried out research and been active on the problems of unemployed youth, urban development, squatters, new towns, declining communities, cross-cultural education, bookselling in Canada, and the social, human and community impact of development in Canada, Scotland and Alaska. He is the author of Northern Realities (1970), and co-author of Cape Breton Island (1974). He serves in an editorial capacity with Plan Canada, Science Forum, Canadian Review and Axiom. A former federal civil servant and university professor, he now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, earning a living as an independent research worker, freelance writer, organizer and teacher.

This book was first published in 1977 by NC Press Limited. It is reproduced with the permission of Jim Lotz by Working Centre Publications to celebrate and understand the history of community development in Canada.

Click here or on the image above to download Understanding Canada (.pdf format)

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