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Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics Hardcover – International Edition, September 24, 2013
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“Extraordinary…. Fire and Ashes is a brilliant testament to the state of our politics, a cautionary tale about the perils, and pleasures, of political life and a must-read primer for anyone contemplating a political career.”
—Robert Collison, Toronto Star
“Compelling and curiously moving account…. For a clear-eyed, sharply observed, mordant but ultimately hopeful account of contemporary politics this memoir is hard to beat.”
“A charming book, frank and funny.”
—Paul Wells, Maclean’s
“Engagingly frank…. Ignatieff has written an elegant, thoughtful, candid book.”
“An honest account, full of wisdom hard won.”
—John Ivison, National Post
“The shelves are full of memoirs written by successful politicians, painting their careers with the rosy glow of battles won. Michael Ignatieff tells a very different tale: of humility, self-discovery, and human connection. It is a book that plumbs the essence of politics, one that all voters and the leaders who would represent them should read.”
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, Princeton University
“A distinguished intellectual, writer, journalist and academic gives up his library and his chair at Harvard to pursue a political career at the highest level and for six years he experiences the passion and the fever, the enthusiasm and the intrigue, the failure and the success of party politics in the vast Canadian scene. Six years after that immersion in political life, he goes back to his library, he does some thinking and he offers us an exceptionally insightful and honest account of that adventure. This book is a compass that will help the reader find his or her way in the dizzying maze that politics has become in the great modern democracies.”
—Mario Vargas Llosa
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.
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Top customer reviews
Mr. Ignatieff is a true believer in the value of big government and social programs. He finds one of the big ills now to be the amount of money now sloshing around national campaigns in Canada, let alone the United States. He is for rural development, against handguns, for the French-speaking minority, for roads, health care for all, against discrimination of about any kind, for higher taxes, for public financing of elections, etc.
I, personally, do not favor many of Mr. Ignatieff's political solutions, but I am particularly opposed to one: from p.133, "Libel laws should also be used to punish the worst [campaign] lies."
Just what is needed: more lawyers and judges involved with determining the fine boundaries of "appropriate" political speech.
Still all-in-all a good and well-written book for everyone--not merely Canadians and not only liberals-- with a keen interest in political campaigns and the practical realities of governance in a modern democracy.
Ignatieff opens our eyes to the way democratic politics are going and offers remarkably simple solutions for suggestions for improving the situation.
Fire and Ashes is written with clarity and style.
Prof. Ignatieff recounts his successes, failures, and more importantly his learnings during five and a half years in the middle of politics at the highest level in HIS country Canada.
A great book worth reading more than once because it's reflections are very profound.
Most recent customer reviews
I selected this book to read thinking it would be an academic treatment of politics and instead discovered what...Isaiah Berlin: A Life is the best as are his interviews with him that are on Youtube.Read more