Breadth of topics for this year's leading business book award captures
trend of increasing social consciousness in Canadian business writing
TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - The four finalists for this year's National
Business Book Award were announced today by co-sponsors PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP and BMO Financial Group. The award of $20,000 is given to the author of an
outstanding Canadian business-related book.
This year's entries are testament to the breadth of Canadian business
writing -- spanning biographies of great business pioneers, philosophical
treatises on the issues confronting contemporary society and critical studies
of unethical business practices. Such a range reveals the evolution of
Canadian business writing over the years from financial analysis to social,
historical and economic commentaries on the issues affecting the Canadian
This year's finalists are:
- Charlotte Gray, Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive
Mind of Alexander Graham Bell, published by HarperCollins. Gray
elegantly chronicles the professional and personal life of the
prolific inventor whose most famous creation is the telephone. She
traces his Scottish childhood, his arrival in Canada, his work with
the deaf, his early creative torments and victories and his
transformation once he gained wealth and fame. Gray's access to
Bell's correspondence with his deaf wife Mabel Hubbard provides the
book with an unprecedented glimpse into the family and emotional life
of this complex scientist who, ironically, was never able to speak
with his beloved wife on the telephone.
- Thomas Homer-Dixon, The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and
the Renewal of Civilization, published by Knopf Canada. Using
examples ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire to the 9/11
attacks in New York to the blackout in Toronto in 2003, Homer-Dixon
reveals civilization's endangering patterns and imparts a sense of
urgency that change is required for human survival. Homer-Dixon
writes with clarity and depth of the problems confronting modern
societies and offers a cautious optimism that good can emerge from
the collapse of civilization as we now know it.
- Wayne Lilley, Magna Cum Laude: How Frank Stronach Became Canada's
Best-Paid Man, published by Douglas Gibson and McClelland & Stewart.
Lilley's engaging, well-researched study of Frank Stronach is the
first biography of one of the country's most creative, colourful and
secretive entrepreneurs. Stronach, who immigrated to Canada from
Austria and rose to success building auto-parts colossus Magna
International, is portrayed as a contradictory character, far more
intriguing than the mythology that has long surrounded him.
- Carol Off, Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the
World's Most Seductive Sweet, published by Random House. Off's
compelling chronicle of chocolate's social and economic history
exposes how the luxurious treat has long been -- and continues to be
-- tainted by corruption and exploitive labour practices. She traces
cocoa's origins from pre-Columbian times to the questionable and
dangerous practices that still surround the sweet's production.
Now in its 22nd year, the award continues to gain attention from not only
the Canadian business world, but also publishers, authors, journalists,
academics, economists, politicians and business leaders from around the world.
This year's National Business Book Award accepted entries whose themes
included business management, business history, business biography, or
economics in (or associated with) Canada. To be eligible, books had to be
published during 2006 and be Canadian business related.
The National Business Book Award jury is chaired by former Ontario
Premier, Honourable William G. Davis, who is now counsel to the law firm Torys
LLP. The panel includes: Jane Cooney, President, Books for Business; William
Dimma, Chairman, Home Capital Group Inc.; Anne Kingston, journalist and winner
of the 1994 National Business Book Award; and Peter Mansbridge, Chief
Correspondent, CBC Television Network.
The winner of the National Business Book Award is announced on May 14,
2007 at a luncheon in Toronto hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and BMO
Financial Group. Broadcaster Paula Todd, host of CTV's The Verdict, is the
master of ceremonies.
Last year's National Business Book Award winner was Matthew J. Bellamy
for Profiting The Crown: Canada's Polymer Corporation, 1942-1990.
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact: Mary
Ann Freedman, Freedman & Associates, (416) 868-1500,