It's not all crooked cops and murder in Jonathan Bennett's novel Entitlement, which is also a gripping examination of power and politics in Canada. On the occasion
of the upcoming federal election, Jonathan has provided us with a few more books to round out our literary education in power and politics. And it's not all crooked cops and murder here either-- check out the range, from poetry to comic fiction, and non-fiction with intentions noble and/or scandalous. Truly, there is something for everyone.
1) Power Politics: poems, Margaret Atwood
This seminal volume was first published in 1971. Happy 40th birthday. Yes, it’s been that long. Wondering what’s changed? Best to re-read it…
you fit into me/ like a hook into an eye
a fish hook/ an open eye
2) The Eatons: The rise and fall of Canada's royal family, Rod McQueen
This multigenerational look at the life and times of one Canada’s great families is a must read. Now, if we could just keep our important national stories in print in Canada, there’s a better chance of us learning from the past (RIP Stoddart…). Is there a lesson here beyond the obvious: that it’s always the latter generations that seem to lose it all?
3) King John of Canada, Scott Gardiner
The most un-Canadian book about Canada’s culture, history, power structure and institutions ever written. Its brazen satire and, often, farce, make this a romp of a read. But, as only a novel can, it speaks the truth to power by saying the very things we do not like to think, say nothing of utter: “Maybe the rest of Canada should hold a referendum on whether or not Quebec can stay in the confederation.”
4) On The Take: Crime, Corruption And Greed In The Mulroney Years, Stevie Cameron
This, now classic, in Canadian investigative non-fiction was a revelation when it was published in 1994 (Bring back MW&R!) And, of course, the tentacles of its story continue to tickle the present-day version of the conservative party. Unafraid and unapologetic books that confront power in Canada to this extent are all too rare.
5) An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century, James Orbinski
This deeply affecting memoir brings the reader not just to the front lines of war and poverty, but it is also expansive and open-hearted about the role organizations such as MSF can, must, play in our world. We are Canadians at home and abroad, and confront power in both places equally.