Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Winner: $25,000; Finalists: $2,500
Signal/McClelland & Stewart
The many ways in which Canada changed during Stephen Harper’s nearly 10 years in power have been well documented. But the man himself has remained a mystery. With impressive access and meticulous research, John Ibbitson writes a remarkable biography that puts us inside Harper’s head during some of the most critical moments of his life, providing the definitive picture to date of one of the most significant Prime Ministers in Canadian history. From his decision to drop out of university to his tumultuous relationship with Reform Leader Preston Manning, from his first date with Laureen to his majority win, Harper is captured magnificently in this gripping read for all Canadians.
About the Book
Stephen Harper reshaped Canada into a more conservative country; a transformation that his opponents tacitly admit will never be reversed. He made government smaller, justice tougher, and provinces more independent. In this comprehensive biography, John Ibbitson explores the life of the most important Canadian of our times—his suburban youth, the crisis that caused Harper to quit university for three years, the forces that shaped his tempestuous relationship with Reform Leader Preston Manning, how Laureen Harper influences her husband, his devotion to his children—and his cats. Ibbitson explains how this shy, closed, introverted loner united a fractured conservative movement, defeated a Liberal hegemony, and set out to reshape the nation. Read an excerpt.
About the Author
John Ibbitson is the Globe and Mail’s writer-at-large based in the Ottawa bureau. Previously, he was the newspaper’s Queen’s Park columnist, Ottawa political affairs correspondent, and Washington columnist and correspondent. He is the author of three earlier works of political analysis, including The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream. He is a past finalist for the Donner Prize, a Governor General’s Award, a National Newspaper Award, a Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award, and the BC National Award for Canadian Non-fiction. He lives in Ottawa.
Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr.
O.D. Skelton: A Portrait of Canadian Ambition
University of Toronto Press
Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry
Greystone Books and the David Suzuki Institute
The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet
The winner of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was announced on April 20, 2016 at Politics and the Pen in Ottawa. The finalists were selected by a jury composed of military historian Tim Cook, author and Globe and Mail journalist Robyn Doolittle, and McGill University professor and political commentator Antonia Maioni.
About the Prize
Now in its sixteenth year, the prize is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles.
About Shaughnessy Cohen
The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in 2000 in honour of the outspoken and popular Member of Parliament from Windsor, who died on December 9, 1998 after collapsing in the House of Commons. Affectionately known as “Radio Shaughnessy,” Shaughnessy Cohen was beloved for her sense of humour and devoted friendship. She was a lawyer by training and used her legal background as chair of the Commons Justice Committee. The same year the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established, journalist Susan Delacourt published a biography, The Passionate Politics of Shaughnessy Cohen.