Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Ron Graham, "The Last Act" (2011)
The full title is, The Last Act: Pierre Trudeau, the Gang of Eight, and the Fight for Canada.
Graham's summary of the Canadian political zeitgeist between the 1960s and the early 1980s is succinct, clear and compelling. Complex issues are generally made understandable, and I very rarely felt that Graham was giving any of the contending positions or players short shrift. Frankly, this book represents a model for how to write popular political history.
The only weakness I could identify in this book - and that in itself is a revealing indication - is that occasionally the minutiae of constitutional proposals, and the debates stemming from them, were difficult to keep track of. This is more likely a result of the topic, however, than Graham's eminent ability to keep challenging material readable for a general audience.
Here's a brief Q&A with Ron Graham, as published in Samara.