Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics

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9780674725997: Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics
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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. 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, unpredictable, unforgiving, and hyper-adversarial. Rough 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 variety.

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Review:

This book is fantastic. The insights into the realities of democratic politics are not only subtle and intelligent but I believe they are of extraordinary importance to anyone trying to understand the possibilities of democracy and the modern life of politics. --Marc Stears, University Of Oxford

"This is a brave and mostly convincing case for the young to consider a life in democratic politics." --Chris Patten, The Tablet, November 2013

"The book is stylishly written, as one would expect of an author who is a novelist and journalist as well as a widely-published academic. The phenomenology of the experience, what it felt like to be there in the middle of things, is engagingly rendered" - Stefan Collini, Prospect. "

" Ignatieff's experience of rejection has left him feeling ambivalent in his attitude to the politician's trade. Yet, almost depstie himself, Igantieff does have something important to teach us. [...] Yet in Fire and Ashes he presents a defence of politics that cannot be ignored." --John Gray, The Independent, 15/11/13

"Igantieff has written an elegant, thoughtful, candid book explaining why he tried, and how he failed, to get to the top of the greasy pole. [...] A friend told him, 'at least I'd get a good book out of it'. And, like it or not, he has." --Peter Clarke, Financial Times, 23/11/13

"Long after the details of the 2011 Canadian election are forgotten, anyone interested in democratic politics will be reading this book. As both an access-all-areas insider s guide to the machinations of power and a powerful account of (and, just as fascinatingly, an example of) the weird psychology of ambition, it is a riveting read. It's also an honest book." --Caspar Melville, New Humanist, 1/11/13

"Igantieff has written an elegant, thoughtful, candid book explaining why he tried, and how he failed, to get to the top of the greasy pole. [...] A friend told him, 'at least I'd get a good book out of it'. And, like it or not, he has. --Peter Clarke, Financial Times, 23/11/13

"for a clear-eyed, sharply observed, mordant but ultimately hopeful account of contemporary politics this memoir is hard to beat." --David Runciman, The Guardian, 27 November 2013

"Igantieff has written an elegant, thoughtful, candid book explaining why he tried, and how he failed, to get to the top of the greasy pole. [...] A friend told him, 'at least I'd get a good book out of it'. And, like it or not, he has." --Peter Clarke, Financial Times, 23/11/13

"Fire and Ashes is a frank, tell-all account of Michael Ignatieff's brief career in Canadian national politics" --Lynn McDonald, Times Higher Education, 12/12/13

"Igantieff has written an elegant, thoughtful, candid book explaining why he tried, and how he failed, to get to the top of the greasy pole. [...] A friend told him, 'at least I'd get a good book out of it'. And, like it or not, he has." --Peter Clarke, Financial Times, 23/11/13

About the Author:

Michael Ignatieff is Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest and former Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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.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, unpredictable, unforgiving, and hyper-adversarial.Rough 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 variety. Seller Inventory # BZV9780674725997

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