Skip to content

Canadian Voices

Home » John Ralston Saul

John Ralston Saul

Democracy, Citizenship and Sovereignty

Date Recorded: Nov 18th, 2006
Recorded At: Parkland Institute’s 10th Annual Conference, Edmonton, Alberta
Recorded By: CJSR 88FM
Duration: 59:00  

Topic Background

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.

Speaker Biography

Born in Ottawa, John Ralston 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, Maurice Strong, he turned his attention to writing.

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. He is perhaps best known for his Voltaire’s Bastards, published in 1992, a widely read introduction to his views on history and political philosophy. Following the release of The Doubter’s Companion (1994), Mr. Saul delivered the 1995 Massey Lectures, Canada’s pre-eminent public speaking series, and the resulting book, The Unconscious Civilization, won the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction as well as other major prizes.

His latest book, The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World, confronts the reigning economic ideology known as globalization. Far from being an inevitable force, Saul believes globalization is already breaking up into contradictory pieces and that citizens are reasserting their national interests in both positive and destructive ways.

A Companion of the Order of Canada, he is also Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France. His 14 honorary degrees range from McGill and the University of Ottawa to Herzen State Pedagogical University in St Petersburg, Russia.

For more information about John Ralston Saul visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *