7 Canadians who’ve had a big influence on America

These Canadians became major contributors to America without making music or movies


John Kenneth Galbraith (Steve Hooper/CP Photo)

Did you know that there are some Canadians (and semi-Canadians) who have had a big influence on U.S. policy? Now if they could only do the same for Canada.

1. Gordon Sinclair: The CBC commentator’s recorded speech “The Americans” sold 300,000 copies on the day it was released in the U.S. in 1973, making Nixon-era Americans feel good about themselves again.

2. David Frum: He helped create the “axis of evil” speech for George W. Bush, and now spends his time advocating for moderate conservatism in the States.

3. Charles Krauthammer: So beloved within the conservative movement that National Review reprints his Fox News interviews every morning, calling it “Krauthammer’s Take.”

4. David Brooks: He was born in Toronto but considers himself American, a perfect setup for his New York Times columns.

5. Marshall McLuhan: Was rewarded for his media philosophy with the ultimate sign of cultural respect, a cameo in a Woody Allen film.

6. Ian McAvity: His Toronto-based newsletter “Deliberations on World Markets” was quoted extensively in U.S. financial columns for years.

7. John Kenneth Galbraith: His book The Affluent Society became one of the most influential books in America in the ’50s, telling people that the country was becoming economically unequal. Good thing that’s not a problem today.

Sources: Barkerville Cariboo Sentinel; Gold Country Communities Society; Glenbow Museum; Vancouver Sun; Vancouver Province; Whitehorse Daily Star

Have you ever wondered which cities have the most bars, smokers, absentee workers and people searching for love? What about how Canada compares to the world in terms of the size of its military, the size of our houses and the number of cars we own? The answers to all those questions, and many more, can be found in the first ever Maclean’s Book of Lists.

Buy your copy of the Maclean’s Book of Lists at the newsstand or order online now.

Filed under:

7 Canadians who’ve had a big influence on America

  1. David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution. He is also an associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

    Henderson’s writing focuses on public policy. His specialty is in making economic issues and analyses clear and interesting to general audiences. Two themes emerge from his writing: (1) that the unintended consequences of government regulation and spending are usually worse than the problems they are supposed to solve and (2) that freedom and free markets work to solve people’s problems.

    David Henderson is the editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Warner Books, 2007), a book that communicates to a general audience what and how economists think. The Wall Street Journal commented, “His brainchild is a tribute to the power of the short, declarative sentence.” The encyclopedia went through three printings and was translated into Spanish and Portuguese. It is now on the web at http://www.econlib.org/library/CEE.html.

    He coauthoredMaking Great Decisions in Business and Life (2006). Henderson’s book, The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey (Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2001), has been translated into Russian. Henderson also writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune and, from 1997 to 2000, was a monthly columnist with Red Herring, an information technology magazine.

    Born and raised in Canada, Henderson earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Winnipeg in 1970 and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1976.

Sign in to comment.