"If I were in charge" is a favourite exercise of those who never were in charge; so let me start by saying, "If I were in charge, I'd make this book mandatory for every high school class."
For one year. Pass or repeat. The next year's assignment would be, "Is Will Ferguson a Bonehead or a Bastard? Explain!"
Bastards succeed, Boneheads fail. Ferguson credits Trudeau, who imposed martial law and censored the free press in 1970, as one of Canada's greatest prime ministers. He rates Diefenbaker, who sought to create a Canadian Bill of Rights, as a Bonehead.
In Canada, such analysis is opinionated, hard-hitting, outrageous and always thought-provoking. It's why Canadians have such a reputation for humour. Ferguson's day job is as a humourist -- perhaps he's now demanding to see the prime minister's birth certificate to learn whether he was born in Ontario or Harperlandia.
In the U.S., Will Rogers used the actual words of politicians for his political humour; Ferguson offers few political quotes, though he pays tribute to Trudeau for that ultimate Canadianism, "Fuddle-duddle". After all, Trudeau would never stoop so low as to say, "My fellow Canadians!"
In the U.S., Maureen Dowd and Molly Ivins used scalpels to slice and dice political buffoonery; Ferguson has all the charm of a wet cod slapped against the side of one's head.
In brief, Ferguson comes across as an "assot". (Look that up in your Funk-and-Wagnalls! or your 'Insulting English' by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea.)
In conclusion, if I were in charge, I'd assign this book as a mandatory history text in all Canadian schools. It's a blunt realistic reality check on the hazards and rewards of service to one's country. Ferguson proves the pen is truly mightier than the campaign speech.