Online read Fire and Ashes AUTHOR Michael Ignatieff – 8p2.us
Hould have known Having said all that it is a fascinating read and easily the most honest book by a politician that I ve read and I ve read several hundred Fire and Ashes is book written by someone who is well and truly done with politics It is also a book that could have been written by of all people Richard Nixon were Nixon not allergic to introspection and not addicted at the molecular level at the prospect of a comeback Fire and Ashes of course has the advantage of Ignatieff s being an author before he was an office seeker which is nusual in this age This is I believe his 18th book I would recommend the book particularly to an American audience since its message applies even to US politics than it s Canadian cousin A note of full disclosure I stood as an NDP candidate in the 2011 federal election the election that saw Michael Ignatieff s political career go down in flames precipitating this book being written and have studied many of his academic pieces while a graduate student at the University of WaterlooJust 30 pages in I commented on my Facebook feed that it s already abundantly clear that he now thinks of himself as a fool Someone asked me Does he think of himself as fooled or foolish This The Man from Her Past (Welcome to Honesty, uestion is to me the definingestion of Ignatieff s missive of his time in Canadian politics and I think the answer is both and neither all at the same timeIgnatieff s critics are ick to accuse him of being arrogant of being too academic too much like a teacher talking down to Canadians Indeed as if lecturing a classroom of students Ignatieff he takes those criticisms head on noting the differences between doing politics instead of talking about politics In what I see as the pivotal chapter where he realizes what political currency really is Ignatieff notes degrees do not confer standing Success in education is a badge of merit that people actually earn yet people with degrees often have trouble converting their achievements into standing The reason is simple education codes as entitlement and voters hate entitlement Standing has to be earned and degrees earn you nothing This estimable principle leads however to a paradox You can be elected without education character likability popularity degrees or a fat bank account but you cannot be elected without standing pp 127 Ignatieff s cerebral lecturing tone indicates a self reflective foolishness the realization that he was fooled into thinking that his academic achievements outside the country would grant him standing in the minds of CanadiansAs the book continues Ignatieff opines the fact that he was tarred and feathered in the minds of Canadians by the Conservatives long before he had the opportunity to define himself partly due to the decline of the Liberal Party over the years He minces no words about the falling out he had with Bob Rae when he returned to Canada and deftly blames the arrogance of the Liberal establishment over the years for the failure of his campaign to take off He is frank with his own failures noting that in retrospect his support for the Conservative budget in the spring of 2009 and subseuent indication of a non confidence motion in the fall of 2009 cost him dearly Interestingly the book takes a positive tone towards the end when Ignatieff returns to what he does best writing about the virtues of democracy about the pieces that make democracy work and in some cases not work and the kinds of people that it takes to make it happen It s clear that Ignatieff is back in his element taking an experience that he had reflecting pon it and with the aid of important thinkers from past and present weaving a narrative about the kinds of people that make our political life so rich Ignatieff ends his book by calling young people interested in making their country a better place to count the costs for he knows than most what the true costs of a political life really are and weigh those costs against the benefits of truly being willing to serve others even when serving your country means failing and failing hardAnd so I end where I began Ignatieff was into thinking that he could waltz back to Canada after years away an accomplished and thinker ready to ascend the throne of Canadian politics And yet he was foolish enough to throw away everything he had already achieved in an effort to contribute positively to his country at a time when he felt his service was needed And it is precisely the combination of the two that leave me inspired getting involved in the political life of *your country reuires that one be fooled into foolishness nless you re willing to risk it all for the *country reuires that one be fooled into foolishness nless you re willing to risk it all for the of those you want to serve your service means nothing at allWhile I disagree with Michael Ignatieff on many things and while I much preferred Jack Layton s vision for our great country I can respect and learn from the lessons of the former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Michael Ignatieff s Fire and Ashes is a sweet read It starts off a little slow and intially gets you thinking this sounds arrogant but then "Suddenly The Narrative Shifts And He Addresses For The Reader "the narrative shifts and he addresses for the reader this arrogance meant within the context of the political career he had The book is essentially an inside look at how the political game in Canada is played and how our swing toward US style degenerative politics was largely responsibl. What did he take away from this crash course in political success and failure Did a life of thinking about politics prepare him for the real thing How did he handle it when his own history as a longtime expatriate became a major political issue Are cynics right to despair about democratic politics Are idealists right to hope Ignatieff blends reflection and analysis to portray today's democratic politics as ruthless npr. .
A short book and a ick read I enjoyed reliving this period in Canadian politics through his eyes I witnessed these events as a citizen and as a voter but reading it it became all new again I had expected on the personal side of how one lives and rebuilds a life after defeat but it was all business however interesting This man knows politics and listening to him is at times After Hours uite fascinating I have marked off several passages like this one an intellectual may be interested in ideas and policies for their own sake but a politician s interest is exclusively in theestion of whether an idea s time has come or I can t remember a speech I heard in five years that was actually meant to persuadeI got a clearer view of Canadian politics from this book delivered in a way that was The Innocents Dark Seduction uite enjoyable As I was reading I often thought he must be a great teacher A refreshingly candid look at elected politics The author was a professor at Harvard who had left Canada for 34 years and was recruited to move back to Canada to run for Parliament and eventually for Prime Minister He went through it all bad faith attacks growing ambition andnexpected defeats His writing is frank honest and often raw He is also a great writer Lot of good From Father to Son (A Brothers Word uotes ran out room A politician s job can be so thankless at times that if you don t acuire a sense of vocation you turn yourself by stages without realizing it into a hack These are the moments and they occur in every tough job when you re no longer sure you rep to it Your every mistake seems to confirm that you This book is definitely open than other books in the sense that the author opens Haunted (After Moonrise (After Moonrise (Connected to Possessed by PC Cast) - Book 2) up about his struggles in the political arena and his place in the backroom politics of the nation He talks about Stephan Dion being a bad candidate who couldn t run a good campaign in 2008 He talks about the struggles of political life during his very first federal election During these passages Micheal Ignattief is honest and truthful about the politics that he had to facep to during the early days of his career However a big disappointment comes in his analysis of the 2011 election debacle he mentions his debate performances having been poor but he seems to struggle to put forward a final thought as to why he lost the election The chapter on the election is time spent on talking about the philosophy of politics instead of why he actually lost He mentions the Liberals lack of funds and the Conservative advertising machine as reasons for his defeat but in the end it s just a mishmash of excuses with no clear message on why the Liberals lost their worst defeat in history It s odd considering how the rest of the book is thoughtfull and he takes the time to deeply analyze his time in politics except for the federal election in 2011 The Philosopher Prince Because Michael Ignatieff never became kingBut his reflection on political life is a refreshingly above the fray take on Canadian politics He does recount the important
Moments Of The Harper Government First Election of the Harper government first election majority from an rival s perspective He also shows his academic side in thoughts on democracy how representatives relate to citizens and the realities of winning office and governing Sections on a candidate s standing and the intimate connection between place and person so a great argument for retaining a Westminster form of parliamentary representation are especially thoughtfulAnd in true Ignatieff form there a *Great Deal Of Name Dropping *deal of name dropping he establishes Liberal credentials But he just says it so nicelyFollow me on Twitter DrATaubman The best modern book about politics I have ever read It s difficult to review Michael Ignatieff s Fire and Ashes without first giving my views of the Liberal Party that he led He describes it as the centre which is political shorthand for opportunistic They position themselves in such a way that they ll bend whichever way the wind blows Do I blame them for that Hardly The fact that the Canadian people made them the most successful party in the history of western democracy as reward gor their cynicism speaks volumes about voters where the blame always properly lies Moreover the Harper Conservatives have stepped into the void left by the Grits with a jaw dropping lack of principle of their own I was expecting Fire and Ashes to be a political memoir or a screed of empty self justification Although there is some of both there it isn t At least not mainly Instead it is mostly an analysis both of himself and the political life that Ignatieff thrust himself into Although he describes his doomed foray into politics as the experience of his lifetime to read Fire and Ashes you get the distinct impression that he didn t enjoy it very much There are a litany of complaints of the ways he was victimized both by others and by the process itself Although he repeatedly suggests otherwise you can feel Ignatieff s disappointment and bitterness rise off of the pages of Fire and Ashes which is saying something since I bought the eBook For what it s worth I believe that Ignatieff would have been happier and successful in an earlier era politics where the Internet and especially television weren t around to constantly bedevil him at every turn The modern era isn t friendly to academics which Ignatieff and importantly the men in black who brought him home to run In 2005 Michael Ignatieff left his life as a writer and professor at Harvard University to enter the combative world of politics back home in Canada By 2008 he was leader of the country's Liberal Party and poised should the governing Conservatives falter to become Canada's next Prime Minister It never happened Today after a bruising electoral defeat Ignatieff is back where he started writing and teaching what he learned.
summary ò E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Michael IgnatieffE for his failed campaign and the gutting of Canadian democratic processes generally The book is also an introspection of the Liberal party and a warning about the dangers of complacency and vested interests getting in the way of the organizational renewal reuired for survival never mind success I also appreciated Ignatieff s explicit outline of the responsibilities of government and the public sector gen Michael Ignatieff is something of an enigma Here is a man who has been a historian a journalist a broadcaster a screenwriter a professor and a politician By any objective measure this should be considered a wildly successful career Yet Michael Ignatieff is regarded as a failure It is the last profession he chose politics that irreparably tarnished his reputation and that is the subject of this bookThis book has been described as a professor s search for lessons in political defeat This description misses the point nless it is only an introductory lesson The search is only cursory and its lack of depth is likely caused by the same problem that plagued Ignatieff s short political career The flaws of the man himself are reflected in the flaws of the bookIgnatieff is no doubt a smart man and it is evident that he is very well read He is a good writer though his style of communication will irritate many because of his se of highfalutin verbiage and metaphors Nonetheless one gets a good glimpse of the inside workings of the Liberal Party machinery through the eyes of a consummate insider s outsider The insights that the book provides are A Full House uniue if only because it is rare to hear about the secret back room dealings of political leaders It is interesting for instance how Ignatieff was the last holdout against the proposed coalition between the Liberals and the NDPs so he claims or how Ignatieff was lured back and pursued doggedly by Liberal insiders despite the obvious red flags or how Bob Rae blewp at his former friend for jumping the O Homem Que Ela Ama Odiar Diamante Bruto ueue so to speak Those insights which are not all that surprising for those who have followed Canadian politics closely however are the only real reasons to read the book The search for lessons isltimately flawed because it asks only how and never whyThe reader is treated to history lessons of how things came to be and how it was that Ignatieff came to power and how it was that Harper was able to easily trounce Ignatieff and how the campaign fell apart despite having some legs at the beginning Unfortunately Ignatieff as sharp as he is never goes deeper to analyze why voters didn t connect with him or why the Conservatives were able to campaign effectively than the Liberals or why the party looked for him in the first place Those would be true insights that a man of Ignatieff s stature and mind could have provided but did not That was a missed opportunity Alas his failure to ask why was probably the reason he failed at politics He had breadth of knowledge but it never seemed he had the curiosity to become a real expert in his last chosen field politics Voters A Stormy Greek Marriage ultimately saw through this superficial gloss and rejected Ignatieff the politician Canadians are probably not afraid of electing a smart and accomplished person as Prime Minister Ignatieff however was not the right man Read this book and you willnderstand why Or not because in the words of Ignatieff there is nothing so ex as an ex politician After thirty years as an academic teaching and writing about philosophy and political theory and with no experience in practical politics Michael Ignatieff entered Canadian politics seeking to lead one of the country s two largest political parties This is a memoir of the five years that followed ending in one of the worst election results in the history of his party and the end of his political career I read it hoping to get some candid writing about the day to day practice of politics and also because it s an important period in Canadian politics that saw the rout of the liberal consensus that had governed Canada almost entirely since
The Great Depression ThereGreat Depression There three themes I took from the book his belief in liberal democracy the exhiliaration he found in politics his concern with the long term conseuences of the current practice in North America of sing the electronic media to generate fear and hate to gain and hold political powerAs a description of the practice it doesn t compare to Robert Caro s work on LBJ but what does I did learn a thing or two For those five years Ignatieff s life was largely focussed on the problem of how do I get *The Person In Front Of *person in front of to support me and vote for me and he seems to have distilled the issue down to the simple idea that voters vote for people they feel they can trust A simple idea but somebody once wrote that all important political ideas are truismsHe also points out that most of the better political theorists have been failures as politicians Machiavelli Cicero Edmund Burke and Max Weber His argument recapitulates Hannah Arendt s thinking on the estion that politics is a performative art not a creative one Political action occurs in the moment and thought comes afterwardWho should read it Ignatieff answers the A Natural Father uestion in the final chapter He says he wrote it for young people interested in going into politics so that they can learn both from his exhiliaration and from his failures. Edictablenforgiving and hyper adversarialRough as it is Ignatieff argues democratic politics is a crucible for compromise and many of the apparent vices of political life from inconsistency to the fake smile follow from the necessity of bridging differences in a pluralist society A compelling account of modern politics as it really is the book is also a celebration of the political life in all its wild exuberant varie.