Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Read this

One: Best book about Canadian elections history? I'm fond of John Duffy's Fights of our Lives from back in 2002. Duffy makes a living as one of those faceless war-room string-puller political consultant types who are the bane of political life, so you might expect flow charts and low strategies and techno-bullying. But Fights of our Lives is a very perceptive and historically-sophisticated look at some of the crucial elections of Canadian history -- and funny too, which is some feat. It is brilliantly designed and lavishly illustrated by Sarah Borins, the best in that business.

Duffy's a football fan. Once you have learned the Quebec Bridge play or the Double Tribal Whipsaw, you should have a whole new perspective on Canadian elections.

Two: How to Follow the War of 1812? I got an email the other day asking for guidance on the War of 1812 and particularly on the places and historic sites of that conflict. I pulled out a book I had not looked at very closely before -- and I'm impressed. Anyone who tours military sites must be using Gilbert Collins's Guidebook to the Historic Sites of The War of 1812 - truly a labour of love by a guy in Ottawa who has spent about 25 years collecting all this info.
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