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On The Take: Crime, Corruption And Greed In The Mulroney Years Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1 1995


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Books; Second Edition 1st Printing edition (Sept. 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770427081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770427085
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 3.6 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #263,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

When On the Take came out in 1994, it made author Stevie Cameron a household name in Canada. Her book's revelations about the rampant corruption and petty greed of Brian Mulroney's decade in the prime minister's office reverberated for many years in the Canadian political landscape and helped destroy his Progressive Conservative Party. (The party, one of Canada's most venerable, never recovered from Mulroney's stewardship and eventually merged with the Canadian Alliance Party.) Cameron, one of the country’s leading investigative reporters, was one of the few reporters to consistently question and probe the corruption of the Mulroney years. She has a wonderful ear for storytelling, which helps make On the Take a page-turner. Cameron seems to rejoice in recounting the numerous unseemly episodes of the Mulroney administration and depicting all its seedy characters and hangers-on. Mulroney comes across as having been most comfortable in a powerbroker's backrooms, surrounding himself with dodgy bagmen and devious lobbyists. Cameron suggests that the country was "open for business," with a "for sale" sign on the front lawn. She writes that even in their final official act, as the Mulroneys departed from office in disgrace amid record-low popularity ratings, they tried to stiff taxpayers into buying their used furniture.

If On the Take can be faulted, it's because it feels a tad partisan. The implication seems to be that Mulroney was somehow much worse than other Canadian leaders--when, in fact, the subsequent regime of Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was also marred by many corruption scandals. Cameron does a fine job of exposing Mulroney, but she seems to blame corruption too much on personality rather than any deeper, systemic causes. That said, On the Take is still a classic of Canadian nonfiction and a masterful depiction of how power is wielded in Ottawa. --Alex Roslin

From the Publisher

"The year's most hotly discussed Canadian book."
-Globe and Mail

"Reads like a thriller...Unputdownable."
-Toronto Sun

"There has never been another book quite like this in the history of Canadian political journalism."
-Michael Bliss, Toronto Star

"A most dangerous, disturbing, and frightening read."
-Financial Post


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R on Nov. 12 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some supporters of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney have trashed this book without, apparently, having read it. There is no question of the accuracy of the book. It is meticulously researched and explained. Most importantly, the litigious Mr. Mulroney did not sue anyone over it. It's all true.

Do other politicians take advantage of their power? Undoubtedly. But I question whether this level of graft and greed has been known in Canada in modern times. The details of the myriad ways the Mulroneys financed their lavish lifestyle go on and on and on and on. Some we read about in the newspaper during the Mulroney years. Most are fresh revelations.

In light of recent news about Schreiber giving Mulroney $300,000 in cash in hotel rooms and the subsequent re-opening of the Airbus bribery scandal, all Canadians should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Huntley on Jan. 4 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a book! In 500 pages Stevie Cameron describes 'Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years' the subtitle of this book. She starts off describing the Mulroneys leaving the Prime Minister's country residence; when the car stops down the driveway but is still in sight one of the staff gives a heartfelt cry 'don't come back'.
One marvels at how Cameron keeps track of everyone involved, the politicians, their bag men, the riding organizers, business people and so on, all of whom it seems have to be rewarded once Mulroney became Prime Minister. Rewarded with government contracts, plum jobs or even Senate appointments for helping to get him elected. There was, apparently, an unwritten rule that 5% of any government contract was returned to someone who helped get it - even if it was a member of parliament; one cabinet minister directly asked for it, but otherwise it was hard to nail down. Cameron comes down hard on news editors who avoided news in order to avoid being told off by Mulroney's people. She also comes down hard on the RCMP because it seems they also evaded their responsibilities.
The book is inevitably a little hard slogging because of the sheer number of stories, peoples' names and their positions; it certainly helps to have recollections of the events at the time. Karl Heinz Schreiber makes a couple of brief appearances, but this was before he became a figure in the daily news.
There are a few bodies in this book, and it seems unlikely they all committed suicide, though no charges were ever laid. It also seems likely that there was (and is?) money stashed in a secret European bank account. Both Mulroneys clearly have extravagant tastes, much of it was supported by the taxpayers.
How can one prevent all this recurring?
Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the book, specially this writer, she is great. I recommend this book to anyone. I come they do the crime, but not the time...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I am still waiting to read the book (lots on my list) but my skim i fthe beginning shows it will be fascinating.
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