Re: “Keeping Governments Honest,” by
I enjoyed Tim Harper’s piece on the Ottawa press gallery, but it didn’t tell me much about Robert Lewis’s new book, Power, Prime Ministers and the Press. Could the LRC get someone to review it?
Terrific read in December @LRCmag: Tim Harper’s @nutgraf1 review of @Robert_L_Lewis book Power, Prime Ministers and the Press !
Doug Fisher’s career as “a true original” on the Hill is deftly surveyed by Bob Lewis in Power, Prime Ministers and the Press, which is, BTW, reviewed by @nutgraf1 in the new issue of @LRCmag. (I cherish my own memories of Doug dropping around to tell Northwestern Ontario tales.)
Great book review — one of the best I’ve read — in the always interesting LRC. Tim Harper reviews Power, Prime Ministers and the Press by Robert Lewis. “A tough, vibrant gallery is needed more than ever.” Hear, hear. @Robert_L_Lewis @LRCmag
I had a chuckle reading Ray Argyle’s dismissive remarks, in the LRC ’s January-February letters page, about Power, Prime Ministers and the Press.
“I enjoyed Tim Harper’s piece on the Ottawa press gallery, but it didn’t tell me much about Robert Lewis’s new book, Power, Prime Ministers and the Press. Could the LRC get someone to review it?”
So here I submit my review: I came to political consciousness around the time of the Suez Crisis in 1956. Reading Lewis’s book has given me an appreciation of men like Willison, Dexter, and Dafoe, about whom I had only a slight knowledge, and of women like Duncan, Lipsett-Skinner, and Brimmell, about whom I knew nothing.
The year 1965 was also notable. That sweltering summer, I had the most exciting job: parliamentary tour guide in the House of Commons. As Lewis points out in his treatment of the Pearson era, the year was one of triumph and trauma. It saw the inauguration of our distinctive national flag and the tragic fall of Guy Favreau. And then there was Pearson’s ill-advised call to dissolve Parliament, to seek that illusory majority that his confidant Walter Gordon thought was within his grasp. But Pearson’s federalism was cooperative, and landmark social legislation wove its way into our lives by the end of his mandate.
Robert Lewis, thank you for writing your first book. It is an excellent history of the press gallery, tracing its evolution from a cadre of nineteenth-century partisans to a legion of professionals redefining their roles in this digital age. I couldn’t put the book down.
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