2002 Winner

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

for Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leaders, and the Making of Canada

Jury Citation

“John Duffy's book, a colourfully annotated history of five key general elections in Canada, flies in the face of all the tired, cynical old clichés about politics being boring and irrelevant. Its smart, well-written prose all flows from two, boldly sunny premises: that elections matter and Canadian political history is interesting. Great political books - like good politicians, in fact - recognize that the art of politics is a complex set of connections between people, ideas and organization. Fights of Our Lives has woven these three essential elements together into a wonderful tapestry of insights into Canadian politics, past and future. It shows politicians as vivid, interesting characters. It shows that ideas can make a difference. And it explains deep, dark political strategy with fun, even irreverent illustration. In these days when too many people are cynical or skeptical of even the most basic exercises of democracy, a book that celebrates politics is a book that deserves to be celebrated itself.” – 2002 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Jury (Susan Delacourt, Bob Rae, and Janice Gross Stein)