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Off and Running: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Government Transitions in Canada Paperback – Dec 13 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (Dec 13 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442615273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442615274
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


‘An academic work that will be prized as a practical guide by both politicians and government executives.’ (Harvey Schachter Canadian Government Executive April 2014)

‘The breadth of author’s knowledge enables him to offer wisdom on a wide range of subjects, including the length of briefing notes, the influence of spouses, appropriate media exposure, cabinet making and leadership dynamics. The practical advice proffered by Zussman is invaluable.’

(David m. Brock IPAC Magazine (NWT Group); January 2015)


Off and Running is destined to be an important work in the field of public administration because David Zussman has combined his ‘real world’ experience in the actual planning and implementation of transitions with his conceptual and analytical understanding of government. His extensive use of real-world materials – strategic memoranda and policy agendas – all prepared in real time for real clients – prime ministers, ministers, and senior officials – makes it an especially good read. The result is an insightful, informative, and engaging book that provides the reader with a front seat for the premiere viewing of a feature length story of government transition.”
(David A. Good, Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria)

“If ever a book on public management can be called ‘definitive,’ this is it. Zussman brings a scholar’s eye and thirty-five years of practical experience in and around the centre of government to this comprehensive examination of government transitions. While the focus is on Canada, he draws on experience from other Westminster jurisdictions, as well as the United States, in drawing insights on how to install a government in office. The book is beautifully written and accessible to anyone interested in government, politics, public policy, and the inner workings of the bureaucracy. A must-have book for any student of government.”

(James Mitchell, Partner, Sussex Circle and Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, 1991-4)

“The peaceful and smooth installation of a new Prime Minister and Cabinet represents a fundamental strength of Canadian democracy, yet one often taken for granted. Off and Running is an informed and insightful analysis of the process that makes use of David Zussman’s own experience and his interviews with key participants in government transitions going back to the 1980s. Clear and concise, this is a book with great depth and credibility.”

(Paul G. Thomas, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jeffrey neto on Dec 7 2014
Format: Paperback
This read like a Dan Brown book. If you want to know the intricacies and the technical details of how government transitions and who the players are, just read this book. You wont regret it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
I anticipate that it will be useful and worth the effort June 28 2015
By D. T. jones - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have not yet read it; I anticipate that it will be useful and worth the effort. I know the author personally and will doubtless raise my rating at a later point, but wanted to respond to your request for a rating. As the author is intelligent and well-experienced in Canadian government and its operations, I anticipate gaining some useful insights.