Best Political Books

The Best Canadian Political Books of the Last 25 Years

This project offers readers a selection of the very best in Canadian political writing, as chosen by Canadians.

Over two months we asked thousands of Canadians for their favourite political/historical books of the last 25 years. We received hundreds of nominations. There’s something for everyone: from biography and history, to insider looks at the political parties or elections, to big ideas—there’s even some amusing fiction.

Of those hundreds, twelve finalists were chosen and put to a vote. (The contest closed in summer 2011)

1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal by Christopher Moore
A Fair Country: Telling Truths About Canada by John Ralston Saul
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership, and the Making of Canada by John Duffy

Harperland: The Politics of Control by Lawrence Martin
John A: The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn
On The Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years by Stevie Cameron
One-Eyed Kings: Promise & Illusion in Canadian Politics by Ron Graham

Right Side Up: The Fall of Paul Martin and the Rise of Stephen Harper's New Conservatism by Paul Wells
Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights by Ezra Levant
Trudeau and Our Times by Christina McCall and Stephen Clarkson
While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World by Andrew Cohen
 

 

About the Finalists

These books 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 whole, this project is a resource for Canadians to learn about their political history and encourage readers to reflect on the contribution that these books make to our country’s great political debates.

For each finalist, you can read a description of the book and a fascinating author Q&A written specifically for this contest.

This project was conceived of and implemented in partnership with The Writers’ Trust of Canada.

Winners

The winner, by popular vote, was Ezra Levant's Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights, published in 2009. Shakedown edged out three runners-up: 

• Stevie Cameron’s On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years (1994) 
• Lawrence Martin’s Harperland: The Politics of Control (2010) 
• John Duffy’s Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership, and the Making of Canada (2002)

About the Writers' Trust

The Writers' Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers' retreat. Writers' Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada's writers receive more financial support from the Writers' Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.