With Every Mistake


407 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-679-31402-4
DDC 909.83





Reviewed by Liz Dennett

Liz Dennett is a public service librarian in the Science and Technology
Library at the University of Alberta.


This is Gwynne Dyer’s first published collection of articles from his
newspaper column. It was compiled partly because CanWest cancelled his
column in most of the large Canadian urban dailies, a decision that left
many Canadians without easy access to his work. But it was also an
exercise by Dyer “to try to understand why we all got things so badly
wrong in the past few years.” By “we” he means journalists (he
includes himself among them) and their failure to correctly analyze the
events of the last few years to detect the real meaning behind them. Of
chief but not exclusive concern to Dyer is the American-led invasion of
Iraq, which he argues was justified by exaggerations and fabrications
from the American administration, and carried out despite strong
objections worldwide. While the actual events were unfolding, Dyer feels
he was often just reacting to each individual event, rather than
analyzing them together to arrive at what he now believes is the larger
American strategy at work, initiated and carried out by powerful
neo-conservatives in Washington. Their real purpose, after all, was to
scare all America’s rivals and enemies into submission by
demonstrating U.S. military power and making it clear that no
considerations of international law would stand in Washington’s way.

This, Dyer argues convincingly, is part of America’s plan to remain
the only superpower in a world with many likely challengers, from the
European Union to the rapidly emerging economic powers of China and

Dyer also writes on a vast array of other topics, such as emerging
democracy in Asia, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, global warming,
conflicts in Africa, farm subsidies, and a smattering of others. Columns
on similar topics have been grouped together, and Dyer has added
additional commentary to bind the book together into a cohesive and
informative read on the state of the world today. While many of the
topics discussed have the potential to be depressing, Dyer often injects
a hopeful note into his analysis.


Dyer, Gwynne., “With Every Mistake,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16064.