Writers' Trust Announces Year's Best Political Books: Former Prime Minister Makes the Cut - But Not the One You Might Expect

    OTTAWA, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Finalists for the Writers' Trust of Canada's
Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing were announced today. The
$15,000 prize will be presented on Wednesday, February 27, 2008, during the
sold-out Politics and the Pen event in Ottawa.
    Covering a wide range of subjects - global trade, an iconic prime
minister, the war in Afghanistan, democracy, and the impact of urban growth -
this year's finalists offer authoritative accounts of complex issues and
provide fresh insights on the Canadian political landscape.
    The five finalists are:

    -   Clive Doucet (Ottawa) for Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and
        Politics as Usual, published by New Society Publishers
           An insider's perspective into how explosive urban growth is
           accelerating global warming and why political action seems
    -   Richard Gwyn (Toronto) for John A: The Man Who Made Us; The Life and
        Times of John A. Macdonald, Volume One: 1815-1867, published by
        Random House Canada
           The first full-scale biography of Canada's first prime minister in
           more than half a century.
    -   Andrea Mandel-Campbell (Toronto) for Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson,
        published by Douglas & McIntyre
           A scathing cautionary tale about Canadian timidity and lost
           opportunities in confronting international markets.
    -   David E. Smith (Regina) for The People's House of Commons: Theories
        of Democracy in Contention, published by University of Toronto Press
           One of Canada's foremost experts in the field of political science
           explores the ramifications of many of the changes proposed to
           Canada's political system.
    -   Janice Gross Stein (Toronto) and Eugene Lang (Ottawa) for The
        Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar, published by Viking Canada
           The riveting step-by-step story of how Canada slipped into a war
           that now means mounting casualties and grim battles in

    The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in
honour of the outspoken and popular member of Parliament from Windsor,
Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.
    Now in its eighth year, the prize is awarded annually to a non-fiction
book that captures a political subject of interest to Canadian readers and
enhances understanding of the issue. The winning work will be one that
combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant
literary merit. Strong consideration will be given to books that, in the
opinion of the jury, have the potential to shape or influence Canadian
political life.
    The jury of historian Robert Bothwell, Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence
Martin, and freelance writer and broadcaster Brigitte Pellerin selected this
year's finalists. Each finalist will receive $2,000.
    The prize is sponsored by CTVglobemedia and is supported by the Politics
and the Pen reception and dinner. Politics and the Pen is the highlight of the
capital's winter social calendar and an important annual fundraising event
benefiting the Writers' Trust.
    The February 27 event will take place at the Fairmont Château Laurier.
Mike Duffy, Ottawa editor for CTV NewsNet, and Jane Taber, senior political
writer for The Globe and Mail, will host the event. Microsoft Canada sponsors
the Politics and the Pen dinner, and MTSAllstream Inc. sponsors the Politics
and the Pen pre-dinner and post-dinner receptions.
    For further information about the Writers' Trust and this year's
finalists, and to win a set of this year's nominated titles, please visit

For further information:

For further information: interview opportunities, and photo requests,
please contact: Jim Armour, Politics and the Pen Committee, (613) 731-8610
x.2282 or jim.armour@cma.ca; Don Oravec, Writers' Trust of Canada, (416)
504-8222 x.244 or doravec@writerstrust.com

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