The Roots of Disunity is an introductory overview of the existing literature on Canadian political culture and an attempt at an interpretive synthesis of this literature. Both tasks are important at the present conjuncture, and the authors go some way toward fulfilling them. In the nature of the undertaking, there is little original data presented, but there is a need for a gathering together of research findings which have until now remained somewhat scattered. This is particularly true for undergraduates; this book should prove a valuable teaching aid in introductory courses in Canadian politics and sociology, as well as in history courses with an interdisciplinary bent. Moreover, its style, which emphasises clarity and non-technical exposition, enhances its usefulness in teaching. An introduction to the concept of political culture is followed by a historical account of Canadian developments, then by chapters which deal with special problems of divergence between English and French Canada, regionalism, and the role of social class and ideology. Bell and Tepperman's treatment of the empirical literature is generally sure, as they draw out the more significant points without getting themselves entrapped in a welter of quantitative methodological detail. The book is also very fair-minded, characterized by a spirit of generous eclecticism. This does have its drawbacks. Their own theoretical orientation is somewhat diffuse, even confusing at times. An apparent attempt to collapse Marx into Mannheim rather carries ecumenicism a bit far. Generally speaking their use of Marxist concepts eems uncertain, as witness the sentence: 'The ruling ideology of industrial society is capitalist, or bourgeois, according to Marx' (• 7) an interpretation which Marxists would find difficult to take seriously inasmuch as it implies that industrial society must inevitably be capitalist. On the other hand, their criticisms of the approaches of Almond and Verba and of S.M. Lipset are very much to the point. But their willingness to criticze Louis Hartz's 'fragment theory' (so generally unloved by historians) without abandoning it altogether leaves a distinctly uneasy impression. I suspect that to many readers the criticism will prove more compelling than the defence.
The Canadian Historical Review