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Hell or High Water: My Life in and out of Politics Hardcover – Oct 28 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas Gibson Books; First edition (Oct. 28 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771056923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771056925
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 16.3 x 25 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #237,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Format: Hardcover
Paul Martin is the most highly respected finance minister in Canadian history. I was mostly interested in the recipe: how did he control the federal budget? How did he set the priorities? How did he get cabinet cooperation? How did he manage provincial expectations? I was also curious about his business career and what he thinks of the financial mess that preoccupies us now. I normally hate politics...but I actually liked the anecdotes, the war stories and the humour.

He comes across as an ambitious pragmatic man with noble goals in a vicious snake pit!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 7 2009
Format: Hardcover
While former prime minister Paul Martin's autobiography reveals very little that is startlingly new, it does provide a decent profile of the life of a prominent career politician dedicated to serving the Canadian public at the highest level possible. What I found most fascinating about Martin's reflections on his life in Ottawa over five decades (including the time he spent in the nation's capital as the son of another famous politician) was his ability to develop and pursue a vision for a stronger Canada on the economic world stage. He doggedly stuck to forcing the country to adopt a serious fiscal restraint program in the 1990s so it could be more able to afford better social programs like national daycare and improved health care. His life as a highly-successful businessman, turned politician, is a story that comes with many interesting twists and turns, but all invariably leading him to eventually becoming PM, a role in which he could best encourage constructive national change. Undoubtedly, Martin was well equipped for the job of finance minister during those troubling deficit years, as witnessed by his determination to turn around government spending before it sank the country. However, in his run for the top, he admits that he lacked a certain political savoir faire as to how to handle his enemies within the party. His many disagreements with Chretien and the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party came back to haunt him big time during his brief tenure as national leader. Reading between the lines, I get the distinct feeling that Martin never quite understood how to be politically adept when it came to outsmarting those who had it in for him.Read more ›
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Goodfella on May 21 2009
Format: Hardcover
Paul Martin's attempt at an autobiography ranks low in terms of recent similar works by Mulroney and Chretien. While the first part of the book gets the reader's hopes up, with some great insight into Martin's life in business and education, in addition to heartfelt stories about his father and mother, the second part is painful at points. It is clear that according to Martin, his tenure as finance minister was mired by attempts by former PM Chretien to undermine him constantly, and the parts dealing with his time as Prime Minister seems to be a litany of excuses for why things did not get done, and how everyone else was to blame.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
Insightful March 17 2013
By A. Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very insightful and thought-provoking. Our democracy would have been stronger with him if he had survived in politics longer. This is the end of my review.

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