Review of William Pinar, Moving Images of Eternity: George Grant’s Critique of Time, Teaching, and Technology

Bryan Heystee


William Pinar’s 2019 book Moving Images of Eternity: George Grant’s Critique
of Time, Teaching, and Technology presents a much-needed and welcome
addition to scholarship on one of Canada’s most significant philosophers. Widely
recognized as a major conservative thinker and public intellectual, George Grant
(1918–1988) came to national prominence in Canada with the 1965 publication
of Lament for a Nation, which argued that due to the twin effects of liberalism
and technological dynamism, it was no longer possible for Canada to exist
independent of the expanding American empire. 1 This book and his other public
engagement were so broadly received that he became a household name and the
paradigm for a distinctly Canadian political term (“red tory”).2 Despite this, only
a handful of monographs have been published on Grant, and Pinar’s book is the
first published after the completion of the Collected Works of George Grant in
2009. As a result, Moving Images of Eternity represents the first effort to make
full use of the resources available in the Collected Works and to expand on them
with the help of a modest body of secondary literature. Whereas previous
scholarship depended on work available only at the National Archives or to
intimates of Grant and his family, Moving Images takes a significant first step in
public discussion of Grant using publicly available materials. Moving Images
seeks to provide an account of Grant’s understanding of education, teaching, and
the curriculum, and to place that account in conversation with both secondary
literature on Grant and a host of other scholars and thinkers working on the same
or related issues. At 459 pages, Moving Images is a success in this regard, though
it invites and requires further work, both elaborations of certain themes and
rebuttals to some of Pinar’s bolder claims. Moving Images proves an engaging
read for those already quite familiar with Grant as it takes a new approach

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