When the Gods Changed: The Death of Liberal Canada Hardcover – Nov 22 2011
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A Globe and Mail Best Book
“The finest journalist of his generation, without equal here as a writer, editor and reporter…. An important, timely and engaging book…. Few do substantive, long-form journalism like this anymore, and no one does it with Newman’s eye, ear and ego.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Of all the literary lions who roamed the Canadian landscape, Newman is the fiercest.”
“Newman has broken through the normal bounds of journalism to become an important diarist of our times.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Canada made Newman and in some ways Newman made Canada.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“Peter C. Newman is an Icon. . . . The chronicler and conscience of a country often confused by its identity, he has been perhaps the most influential journalist Canada has ever known.”
“I’d never let you write my biography!”
—Margaret Atwood to Peter C. Newman
“Newman’s insights confirm his reputation as a guardian of the best leaks in Ottawa.”
—The New York Times
About the Author
Peter C. Newman has been writing about Canadian politics for nearly half a century, including books on prime ministers John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Brian Mulroney. His Renegade in Power (1963) revolutionized Canadian political reporting with its controversial "insiders-tell-all" approach. He did it again four decades later with The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister (2005), a number one bestseller that became one of the most controversial books ever published in Canada. The author of twenty-five books that have sold over 2.5 million copies, Newman has won a half dozen of the country's most illustrious literary awards, including the Drainie-Taylor Biography prize for his 2004 memoir, Here Be Dragons: Telling Tales of People, Passion and Power. A former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean's, Newman has been honoured with a National Newspaper Award, has been elected to the News Hall of Fame, and has earned the informal title of Canada's "most cussed and discussed" political commentator.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Nope. Newman details how Canadians are equally clever in using very different politics to produce a landslide defeat based on the hubris of past success and the blinders of current arrogance. He knows how to infuriate politicians; he quotes them accurately and in enough context that they can't weasel out of gaffes, goofs and "Golly Gees!" with claims of misquotes. It gives him two great advantages; honesty allows him candid access to all who matter, including politicians, and in return he presents a complete "warts and all" picture.
Trust me, I've been there. Political campaigns are intense; success requires an astute candidate plus a dedicated staff willing to literally work around the clock. As Newman says, Michael Ignatieff began with these strengths until his campaign was taken over by good ol' boys wanting to cash in on easy glory.
This book is a post-mortem, like an analysis of why the Titanic sank. As with the Titanic, lessons learned mean big ships are still built and sail safely; the lessons of this book may well become a foundation garment to rebuild the Liberal Party. As an original supporter of John Diefenbaker and Dr. P. B. Rynard, I don't want Liberals to disappear; because the lasting success of Conservatives depends on the intelligence of a good opposition.
Without a good opposition to debate their politics, plans, policies and peccadillos, Conservatives will become a Canadian G.O.P. (Greedy Old Party).
Conservatives skillfully used American campaign techniques in 2011, a system imported by Liberals in the 1962 election.Read more ›
To Newman's credit, the book does have some interesting things to say about the party, and the insider account of Ignatieff's recruitment and time as Liberal leader are valuable, but I can't help feeling like I've been deceived by the book's title and marketing. It's a biography of Ignatieff and chronicle of his role in the party's history more than anything else. If that's what you're looking for, you'll enjoy this book. If it's not, it may still be worth a read as long as you don't come into it with any false expectations.
I would definitely recommend this book to political junkies and anyone looking for a bit of insight into the Grits as they enter what may be their last leadership campaign. However, this is not the full and definitive account of the death (or near death) of Canada's natural governing party.
Newman's writing remains crisp, the problem is his thought and his thesis about the Liberal Party of Canada are a mix of bang on or bozo.
At is core, I sense that Newman is writing this not as an actual practioner of Canadian politics, but as someone who reads a lot about it and talks a lot about it. And the difference shows in this work.
There is some original stuff in here, which is fantastic. But for the most part, I thought I was getting a regurgitated revision of what others like Paul Wells have already published.
Peter Newman is a journalist who has had one-on-one access with all the past prime ministers, except for perhaps Harper. So he chose to follow and interview Ignatieff, whom he believed would be the next prime minister. Clearly, that didn't pan out. This book is an explanation of why that's so. There are really three causes. The first is that Iggy never really caught on to how the game was played. A relative newcomer to politics, he acted more like an academic, seeking truth and dialogue rather than emotions and selling points. The people around him were unable to give him the right advice or help him follow it. That left him badly stunted and looking awkward on camera. Surprisingly, he came away as a man without big ideas, despite the fact that as a professor he had written about some pretty big ideas. Newman reports some of his interviews with Iggy, who indeed comes across as more profound and interesting than he did on the political stage.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I did not order this book but would have because I do like Peter Newman. I was not invoiced for it nor did I receive it. Peter Newman is and excellent writer.Published 24 months ago by Bill Davies
This book was written two years ago in 2011, and its message deeply resonates louder today than even then. Read morePublished on June 17 2013 by David Heming
When the Gods changed by Peter C.Newman shade a new light on Canadian politics and the demises of the Liberal party. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2012 by Jacques
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