The Writers’ Trust of Canada, in collaboration with Samara, has named Ezra Levant’s Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights (McClelland & Stewart, 2009) the Best Canadian Political Book of the Last 25 Years.
The WTOC and Samara, a non-profit organization for citizen engagement in Canada’s democratic system, announced the contest in June to recognize books “that have captured the Canadian political imagination and contributed in a compelling and unique way to how Canadians understand a political issue, event, or personality” as a means of teaching Canadian political history and sparking political debate. The public was asked to submit their top three recommendations for the longlist, revealed July 1st, and vote on the final 12.
Shakedown, the conservative commentator’s critique of government-appointed human rights commissions and their impact on civil liberties, edged out On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron (Seal Books/Random House, 1995), Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin (Penguin, 2010), and Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership, and the Making of Canada by John Duffy (HarperCollins Canada, 2002) to win the popular vote.
The other eight finalists were:
- 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal by Christopher Moore (McClelland & Stewart, 1997)
- A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada by John Ralston Saul (Viking Canada, 2008)
- The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis (M&S, 2008)
- John A: The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn (Random House Canada, 2007)
- One-Eyed Kings: Promise & Illusion in Canadian Politics by Ron Graham (HarperCollins, 1996)
- Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper’s New Conservatism by Paul Wells (M&S, 2006)
- Trudeau and Our Times by Christina McCall and Stephen Clarkson (M&S, 1990)
- While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World by Andrew Cohen (M&S, 2003)
The sponsoring organizations are planning an event with the contest finalists on the topic of political writing in Canada later this year.