December 2011

Our stocking full of literary treats is fuller than usual this month because December 2011 marks the 20th Anniversary of the LRC and we are celebrating with lavish bounty, enough to keep you happily reading online throughout the holidays.

The year has been a stunning and shocking one for the capitalist way of life, which is quickly becoming global. John Hancock, a Canadian trade specialist at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, provides a roadmap—both hopeful and harrowing—through the new economic world we are living in. It’s called “The Capitalist Revolution.”

Richard Gwyn’s much-awaited second volume on Sir John A. Macdonald, Nation Maker, tracking our first prime minister’s life from Confederation to his death three and a half decades later, has appeared this fall and receives a masterful and thoughtful LRC review from renowned scholar and Trudeau biographer John English.

One of Canada’s most gifted poets and authors, Dionne Brand, turns her attention as reviewer to Madeleine Thien’s new novel exploring the Cambodian genocide, Dogs at the Perimeter.

The ongoing debate about foreign aid and overseas charities gets a burst of energy from Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder of War Child, in her new book, Damned Nations. We asked Ian Smillie, another impressive Canadian contributor to the debate, to provide a review.

On-the-ground politics used to be something the Liberal Party of Canada did better than anyone else, but is that still true? Grassroots Liberals by Royce Koop explores this question, and former Liberal MP and leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay explores Koop’s findings.

Finally, when it comes to doing the right thing for the environment, why do almost all of us fall woefully short? In a brilliant analysis of new works by David Suzuki and William Marsden, iconoclastic U of T philosopher and ethicist Joseph Heath says it’s not our ignorance but our self-interest that gives us a failing grade.

Read all these wonderful writers. They will make you wiser, and what better present could we give you than that?

Happy holidays!

Bronwyn Drainie