The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree

This is not a book about politics; it’s about political philosophy. Imagine a man standing on the street. Suddenly, the ground splits open and buildings start to crumble. The man says: “It’s an earthquake!” But what he sees is really the consequences of the earthquake, which is happening invisibly underground in the grinding of geological forces. This book is about the grinding of opposing but invisible ideological forces that are causing the rubble at the surface of political and moral life in the Western democracies. Chapters dealing with the differing liberal and conservative conceptions of Human Nature, Democracy, the Self, Reason, Religion, Freedom, and the core social issues of Homosexuality, Abortion, and Euthanasia, each end with a Table where you can find out “how liberal or conservative you really are!”


“I think this is one of the most intellectually rich and insightful works I have ever read on the subject.” Professor Harley Price, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto

“Gairdner writes with bracing honesty on [all] aspects of the split between left and right … Those who read his book may well learn, for the first time, the inner meaning of their own strong views.” Robert Fulford, Culture Critic, The National Post

“Are you at heart a liberal or a conservative. If you’re not sure, this very learned (and yet highly accessible) book will help you sort yourself out. Gairdner takes the subject far deeper than nearly every other writer on the subject.” Francis Buckley, George Mason School of Law, Arlington, Virginia