Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell on Canada

On the CBC’s Ideas podcast, I’m currently listening to “Canada: Nation or Notion” (MP3, 25 MB, 53:46), a debate between two Canadians who live in the US: Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell. They’re both very smart, eloquent speakers, and it makes for an hour of enjoyable listening:


The talk was sponsored by Maclean’s, and there’s text from the debate on their site. It’s not an exact transcript, though, because I couldn’t find this self-effacing joke that Gladwell made:

I thought I would begin by drawing on an example that may seem a little far fetched. But trust me, I will circle around and make it make sense. And that is to talk about the success of ethnic Chinese immigrants throughout the world.

Now, those of you who are familiar with my writing will know that this practice of talking about X by discussing Y is my only rhetorical move.

I gather this is just one in a number of discussions that Gopnik and Gladwell have been having over the years. Here’s the text from a 2000 debate about American vs. Canadian healthcare systems.

If you haven’t read Gopnik’s beautiful book Paris to the Moon, I highly recommend it.


  1. Hey Darren –

    Malcolm is a brilliant guy and I highly recommend the two books I have read by him – “Blink,” and “The Tipping Point.” If you have not read them I think you’d really enjoy his thinking style.

    By the way, nice flash player. I am looking for something slick like that for my own site. Which one is it?

  2. Davin: Indeed, I have read both his books. I didn’t mention them because I figured he was so well recognized that he didn’t need any help from me.

    Gladwell’s books are full of great ideas, Gopnik’s books are full of great writing.

  3. For the first time I think I have wordpress envy. I have found the flash player but it appears to be a WP plugin that malfunctions in IE when used with MovableType. Boo hoo!

  4. There couple of fascinating points at some point in this posting but I don’t determine if these men and women center to heart. There is some validity but Let me take hold opinion until I check into it further. Great write-up , thanks and then we want far more! Combined with FeedBurner in addition

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