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Stephen Harper Hardcover – Aug 12 2015

4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Signal (Aug. 12 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771047037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771047039
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Globe and Mail 100 — 2015

About the Author

JOHN IBBITSON is Writer at Large for the Globe and Mail, having also served as chief political writer, political affairs columnist and bureau chief in Washington and Ottawa. His previous political books include the national number-one bestselling The Big Shift (with Darrell Bricker), The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream and Open and Shut: Why America Has Barack Obama and Canada Has Stephen Harper. A winner of the Governor General's Award, Ibbitson has been shortlisted for the Donner Prize, the National Newspaper Award, the Trillium Award, and the City of Toronto Book Award. He lives in Ottawa.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The most impressive aspect of this book is how it is very different from many other "political" books I have read over the years. Most are simply a recounting of what the person did or did not due in office with a little bit of who they are thrown in for good measure. This book is the reverse. It attempts to answer the question "who is Stephen Harper and from that why his policies and style of governing are what they are"? The book on balance succeeds in doing just that
I came away with a more complete understanding of the last ten years of conservative rule in Canada and of course the timing of the book with an election on helped form my voting decision.
If you have seen Ibbitson on various television political panels the book reads like he speaks, succinct, thoughtful, and well researched without the need to be the centre of the discussion.
As you can probably tell- I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone interested in Canadian political affairs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Clear analysis, highly readable look into what made Stephen Harper, how he formed his vision of what he believes Canada should be, how his private and insular personality shapes his relationships with those around him, and how this has combined to bring about significant change (not all good) to Canadian politics and how Canada is seen in the world. It also helps to explain the negatives related to his time as both the Comservative leader and the Prime Minister of Canada. Highly recommended reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was taken aback by this surprisingly insightful book. This book is a respite from the recent onslaught of books et al that have been mainly emotive or ideological screeds on Harper & his 'regime', instead this book objectively attempts to understand the early influences,circumstances, ideas that help shape Harper & his motivations & his world view and the events that he helped shape himself. Without endorsing Harper's world view , the author is thoroughly & accurately able to explain it & it's sources. The author also gives an unvarnished look at Harper's personality 'assets' & 'deficiencies' & how they helped & hurt his interactions with people & politics. Amazingly insightful & illuminating book at a person & a period of politics that shaped Canada.
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Format: Hardcover
I have high praise for a book that that attempts to objectively come to grips with one of Canada's more mysterious and controversial prime ministers, Stephen Harper.For the last couple of years it has been a largely media-driven campaign that has attempted to portray Harper as a dangerous political operator who has to go.Though fully aware of Harper's flaws, Ibbitson has chosen not to be part of this effort. Instead, he sees a leader who resolutely believes that he knows what is best for Canadian society:the implementation of fiscal conservative policies.Like Thatcher before him, Harper pushes a political agenda that favors lower taxes, less spending, balanced budgets, and a war on the welfare state.The intriguing story behind the unfurling of Harper's grand vision is what makes this book worth reading. The reader gets to see how Harper willed his way to the top with a plan. While Harper is often hard to figure out, what we see here is a man who often relies on his own counsels before listening to the advice of others. Ibbitson does a decent review of the many career moves in Harper's checkered and complex life, such as leaving the Reform Party, leading the National Citizens' Coalition, and returning to rescue the Alliance Party from oblivion by taking it over and merging it with the struggling Progressive Conservative Party.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just purchased this book after reading a sample of it. I mostly hurried through the first chapter because I wanted to get to the part where it really started to talk about Stephen Harper himself. The more I read about him the more I connect with him. He has always fascinated me, and I just never could understand why people hate him so much and prefer an airhead like Trudeau over a man with such substance and character.

I suppose it's just a matter of perspective. People who love Harper connect with his persona, while those who don't, can't seem to see past the stiff mask he puts up, or they simply prefer someone more "charismatic", because that's more important to them than a person they can't connect with; doesn't matter if that person is taking good care of business. Then again there are many who would argue that he wasn't taking good care of business and was in fact "destroying" Canada. Again, it's all a matter of perspective.

I also admire Harper's strength and authenticity. Unlike Trudeau, who seems to be thriving on adulation, Harper has no interest in pleasing people to gain popularity; he could care less whether he was popular or not. All he was ever interested in was doing the right thing according to what he believed was the right thing to do... whether it clashed with what the masses believed, was beside the point. His adament attitude was one of his flaws that attracted so much hatred towards him, and it's understandable. Even I, a Harper fan, couldn't always understand his stance on certain issues. But in the end I still prefer and trust a Prime Minister who cares more about being authentic - even if that means garnering hatred towards him - than a pompous one motivated by adulation.
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