Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics

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9780345813275: Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics
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Renowned author and former Liberal Party of Canada leader Michael Ignatieff delivers a stirring meditation on contemporary politics and the lessons he learned in defeat. Candid and utterly unexpected, this book is not just for Canadians concerned about the future of the Liberal Party, but for all citizens concerned about the future of Canada and of political discourse in today's increasingly partisan world.
     In 2011, the "Natural Governing Party of Canada" suffered its greatest defeat when Stephen Harper's Conservatives won a majority and Jack Layton's NDP superseded the Liberals to form the Official Opposition. It has spawned a time of soul-searching for the Liberal Party and its former leader, Michael Ignatieff--but while the party continues to look for answers, Ignatieff has found his in Fire and Ashes: the reasons why he went into politics in the first place. In what he says is the most difficult book he's ever written, Ignatieff (the son of a Canadian diplomat whose reputation was made long before he risked it all in politics) explores what it is to be a citizen and why, even in today's adversarial climate, the aspirations of the political life can still outweigh the costs.

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About the Author:

MICHAEL IGNATIEFF was born and educated in Toronto. He gained a doctorate in history at Harvard and has held academic posts there and at Cambridge, Oxford, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of London and the London School of Economics. His critically-acclaimed books include The Russian Album and Scar Tissue. His 6-part documentary series, Blood and Belonging, on nationalism, was shown on BBC2, CBC and PBS, and went on to win major awards in Canada and the United States. Ignatieff's writings have appeared in all the leading journals of Britain and North America, and he was for several years director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. At the end of 2005 he returned to his native Canada and entered the political arena, being elected a Liberal Member of Parliament and subsequently becoming leader of the party before stepping down after the election of 2011. He teaches human rights and politics at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.


   · "Nobody else in recent times has come as close to the highest office in the land and seen it slip from their fingers--certainly no one who could elucidate on the experience as vividly as Mr. Ignatieff.... nest account, full of wisdom hard won." National Post 

   · "Eloquent and passionate." The Globe and Mail 

   · "Extraordinary." Toronto Star

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