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How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change Paperback – July 22, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

FINALIST 2014 – Ottawa Book Awards—Non-Fiction

“Joe Clark’s How We Lead is like the honourable man: thoughtful, intelligent…worth the effort…. Who would have thought that Joe Clark could turn out to be Canada’s Cassandra?”
Toronto Star
 
“Joe Clark brings a wealth of experience to his observations on the Canadian political scene…. A thoughtful book, one that will interest anyone who cares about Canada’s place in the world.”
The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)

“An outstanding read. From the perspective of today’s viciously divided politics, Mr. Clark’s portrayal of the country’s history is balanced and laudable. His assessment of the state of Canadian politics is a sobering wake-up call…. Better than any book I have read in a long time, How We Lead depicts my concerns about the direction in which we Canadians are drifting.”
 —Andre Carrel, The Boundary Sentinel
 
“All Canadians should read this book.”
Calgary Herald 

"An impassioned argument for Canada to reassert its international position as an agent of change, diplomacy and peace."
—Ottawa Life

About the Author

JOE CLARK was elected in 1979 as Canada's sixteenth and youngest prime minister. During the Mulroney government, he served as minister of external affairs from 1984 to 1991 and as president of the Privy Council and minister responsible for constitutional affairs from 1991 to 1993. After several years away from public life he was elected again to the House of Commons in 2000, where he represented Calgary Centre until leaving politics in 2004. He now works as a political and business consultant in Ottawa, where he lives with his wife, Maureen McTeer.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada; Canadian edition (July 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307359085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307359087
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,537,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David R. Smedley on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Former Prime Minister Clark has written an extremely engaging, articulate analysis of international affairs from a Canadian perspective. He argues that Canadian politics has changed the nature of Canada's engagement in international affairs, and has marginalized its strength in peacekeeping, conciliation and uses of soft power. It's not a memoir but he does reference experiences from his time as PM, and Minister for External Affairs. He peripherally references his service as Minister for Constitutional Affairs in the waning days of the Mulroney government. When read along with Paul Wells' excellent new book on Harper, The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-, and also Michael Ignatieff's commentary/memoir on his time as an MP and Leader of the Liberal Party, Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics and you get a very lucid, articulate set of reasoning for the state of current Canadian politics.

PM Clark does discuss the changes in Canadian political culture which impact how Canada is positioned currently in global affairs. He rues the decline in conversation and collegiality (which Ignatieff also discusses when he argues that referring to political opponents as "enemies" is bad for discourse). I'd recommend viewing PM Clark's interview on Mansbridge One on One for a further articulation of his views: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/Mansbridge+One+on+One/ID/2415736024/./

Clark's book is an argument for the need for constructive engagement in international affairs, and that this is not limited to trade and economic issues.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book resonates with me because Canada is our excellent neighbor and I have relatives who are Canadian citizens living in Canada's metropolitan areas. My affinity for Canada is bolstered by this very instructive book and CBC radio nightly news program "As it Happens".

The author, the Honorable Joe Clark, serves his country -- Canada -- magnificently yet again by providing insights about Canada's history and its current standing in the world. Canadians and the world owes Mr. Clark a world of gratitude for speaking out openly about the autocratic Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who purportedly has silenced Parliament, turned Canada into what amounts to the Russian Federation of Canada and deliberately squandered away tremendous good will Canada has "earned," engendered and continue to enjoy throughout the world.

Stephen Harper rules like a dictator. Mr. Clark writes: "I have been involved with Canadian cabinets and ministers for more than fifty years, going back to the Diefenbaker period, and Stephen Harper has accumulated more personal power, as prime minister, than anyone else in that half-century." Mr. Clark notes: "This is a notoriously controlling prime minister [Stephen Harper], who dominates and decides his government's domestic and international policy more rigorously than any of his predecessors since, at least, the Second World War."

The Hon. Joe Clark is pleading for Canadians, from the citizenry to their elected officials, to set Canada on a path of partnerships, less Canada becomes an international pariah nation, especially because of "the Harper government's hostility towards the United Nations." Mr.
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By Ryr Voch on October 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "How We Lead" we see the difficulty of making passionate arguments for reasonable positions, and of striking strong blows for moderation and collegiality. Mr. Clark's measured writing moves slowly and surely towards worthy goals, but I suspect that few who do not already agree with him will follow it through to be influenced. Even the editing works against him: for instance, the curious use of bullet marks to separate blocks of text more than a page long, which seems to suggest an earlier draft was pithier but was later softened into more precise but less powerful writing. More partisan-minded readers will probably come away remembering only his surgically precise criticisms of prime minister Stephen Harper, and one fleetingly wishes that Clark had simply written a straight-up philippic. But that, of course, would not be his style. His advocacy of multilateral and balanced influence for gradually improving the world is both wise and well-suited to his country, but one fears that this sort of book will never strongly influence the politics on which effective and durable foreign policy must be built: it will neither convince his opponents nor provide useful ammunition to his allies. Still, in the end, we are slightly strengthened by his example, and it is encouraging to see that someone who worked in public service for so long can maintain the optimism that underpins the whole book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book that suggests practical ways in which individual Canadians, organizations and Governments can use their "soft power" to contribute to the resolution of world problems. Moreover, it presents many examples of how Canadians, Canadian organizations and Governments have successfully done so in the past. It challenges all of us to use our experience, reputation and other assets in the pursuit of a better world. In addition, it is well-written, interesting and inspiring. Bravo to Joe Clark for sharing his experience and insights with with us.
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