Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Ringo: With a Little Help: Michael Seth Starr

September 25th, 2015
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We all have our favourite Beatle. Personally, I’m a George guy, being a guitar player and as I love his playing and songwriting. But Ringo Starr comes in a close second. His good natured humour and tendency towards simple pop in his songs has it’s appeal.

513tnkxuonl_sy344_bo1204203200_Ringo: With a Little Help by Michael Seth Starr is a fairly comprehensive look at the worlds most famous drummer. Covering his early years, his time before the Beatles with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, the Beatle years and beyond, With a Little Help covers all the points of Ringo’s career.

It is also, to a degree, a defense of Ringo Starr the drummer. Often maligned (“He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles,” John Lennon once said of Starr), With a Little Help is definitive on the point, Ringo Starr was the best drummer in Liverpool in 1962 when he joined The Beatles, and his drumming, while sometimes in-elegant, was crucial to their sound. He has a unique style due to being a left handed drummer using his set right handed, he is clumsy on fills (for much the same reason), but he is a solid to very good drummer.

With A Little Help is not all a defense of Starr, however. His very limited vocal range is an important part of the narrative and Ringo has success as a singer when he has material within his “six-note range.” As well, Ringo’s alcohol problems are well documented, as his much of his negative behaviour during his long bout of alcohol abuse. His later career work ethic is questioned and the breakdown of his first marriage to Maureen is well documented, including his affairs during the legendary “LA lost weekend” period of the early 70’s.

On the bizarre side, the author cites diary entries of teenage Ringo fanatic Marilyn Crescenzo some seventeen times, following her feelings over events in The Beatles lives in 1964-65 time frame:

This morning ten o’clock, I heard a report from the Beatles hotel and Ringo and George were talking—I said to my mother “why didn’t you let me go down there—Everybody is there.” I then walked into the bathroom and couldn’t hold back -I just cryed! [sic] I couldn’t help it!

Intended to provide color I gather, these diary entries really just fill some page space.

Ringo: With a Little Help is a good read, and an interesting look at one of our times more interesting, if reasonably unimportant, people.

For certified professional guitar repair in Cambridge Ontario: Brian Gardiner Guitar Repair

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New Harper Lee

February 8th, 2015
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If you are an author an hoping your next time is Pulitzer material, put that manuscript back in the drawer and hold off a year: 2015 now has a favourite. To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has announced the release of her second book, fifty-five years after her first.

Go Set a Watchman was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel features the main character from Mockingbird, Scout, twenty years later and living in New York. According to Lee:

My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout.

A copy of the thought lost manuscript recently was discovered. So the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, in which adult Scout returns to Maycomb Alabama from New York, was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, and now, released fifty-five years later.

Like I say, put away those Pulitzer ambitions for a year, at least until we’ve had a chance to read Go Set a Watchman, which is due for release July 14th.

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Book Review: The Neon Lawyer

November 11th, 2014

Brigham Theodore is a newly minted lawyer, looking for a job the day after passing the bar. He finds one, run by a Russian mobster, and almost immediately finds himself trying a capital murder case. Drama ensues as a sympathetic defendant gets her hotshot young lawyer up against the ambitious district attorney and a system aligned against them.

I love a good legal thriller, and Victor Methos The Neon Lawyer is a good one. All the right elements are there, the little guy lawyer, young and southern, up against the best. The evidence is against him, but the emotional weight of the case is on his side. Fighting the ambition of his opponent, the small time lawyer with his team consisting of one young woman has to convince the jury to ignore the legalities and do the right thing.

If The Neon Lawyer was a John Grisham book, it would have been much longer. Jury selection would take 60 pages, the trial another 150. But Methos keeps things tight, not bogging it down in legal details. This makes for a quick easy read, and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that.

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Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page: Photographs and Review

October 2nd, 2014

Jimmy Page’s pictorial autobiography, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, gets it’s regular edition release on October 14th, so the pre-release press has begun.

Today we get two articles, one in Variety magazine where Steve Chagollan has a review of the book, and another at The Guardian, which offers a glimpse at a dozen of the 600 photos in the book.

At Variety, Chagollan says of the book:

Anybody interested in what girl Page was seeing or what bad habits he was falling into won’t find them here — for good or bad. But within the sparse entries are true nuggets, such as the fact that the first Led Zeppelin album took all of 30 hours to record “with vision, improvisation, attitude and a bulletproof blueprint.” Page also writes about recording the group’s nameless fourth album at an English country manor in Headley, Hampshire, “to lock in and condense the creative energy.”

Page’s book is, to be sure, different than most autobiographies. Originally released as a collector book on high quality photographic paper and in extremely limited release, it sold for $500-800 (£395- £695). It is strictly pictorial, with text amounting to not much more than a snippet to describe the picture.

The Guardian gallery will give you a taste of what Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page is going to be like, only with 50x more pictures.
Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page can be preordered now, and s in stores October 14th, at a price point much more in line with what the average fan would be willing to pay.



Billy Joel by Fred Schruers

September 29th, 2014
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Many biography’s die in the early chapters. Struggling to bring life to somebody who would become something, but was really still just some schlub, has defeated many biographers. Fred Schruers’ Billy Joel seems to suffer from this in reverse. The first chapter is a must read, and one of the most compelling chapters of any biography I’ve ever read. The last third to quarter of the book however, dwells endlessly on Joel’s career and life since he recorded his last album, 1993’s River of Dreams, over 20-years ago.41q5ygb06l

Opening with Joel’s family history, his Jewish industrialist grandparents leaving Nazi Germany by stealth, and arriving in Long Island via Switzerland and Cuba, the first chapter of Billy Joel is an excellent and fascinating piece of history. Billy’s early years is covered quickly enough and interestingly enough, something that’s not always true, or even often true, in a biography. The minutiae of childhood has bogged down many a biography, that’s simply not a problem here.

Joel’s career years cover the majority of the book, from his early band to River of Dreams, and all the important details seem to be accurate and intact: his first, disastrous album, his move to LA, Piano Man, his rise to prominence and most productive commercial years, his divorce from his first wife (and manager) Elizabeth and discovering his next manager, her brother, had ripped him off leaving him virtually broke.

It’s the later, post River of Dreams years that Billy Joel bogs down. A story that moved along fairly nicely suddenly overwhelms with details. Thus we get far more than we need about his courtship of Christie Brinkley (and not enough on their split), as well as his romance with third wife Katie Lee, minute details of a concert here, a concert there, and far too much from Joel’s day to day activities, that felt at times like bad name dropping (biking with Bruce Springsteen as one example).

Fred Schruers Billy Joel is a good, easy read, and enjoyable look at one of those rather ordinary people who made the absolute most of what they had, often at the expense of his personal life. And edit and a trim of the last quarter of the book and it could be an excellent one.

Billy Joel is available Oct. 28 at all your usual book buying outlets.

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Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry by Gareth Murphy

September 1st, 2014
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Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry is a well researched trundle through the record industry from it’s inception with the first voice recording in Paris in 1860 to the modern era. Author Gareth Murphy runs through the history of recorded music, noting similarities to todays problems from the past, with a working thesis that the modern record industry isn’t in as bad shape as it currently seems, and certainly not when looked at against the historical record.

Beginning in the late 19th century, Murphy chronicles the rise and fall of such notables as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as lesser knowns like Eldridge Reeves Johnson and Frank Seaman, the latter of whom in 1900, in a move that will resonate with modern buyers, threatened prosecution against customers who bought Gramophones.

“The record business of the twenties and thirties experienced a crash even more devastating than the recent one,” Murphy notes in the books introduction. A crash that saw the record industries “biggest boom in record sales, in and around 1921, was immediately followed by the biggest slump in the industry’s thirty-year history.” A slump caused, it should be noted, by the introduction of a new technology that made “talking machines” seem obsolete.

Cowboys and Indies is, in fact, a good romp through the ups and down, the people and the musicians throughout the history of the record industry.


Except in the 1970’s the narrative changes, and Cowboys and Indies suddenly becomes a story about the underground club scene in New York and an Independent (read: small) record store in London. The rock era is virtually dismissed for disco, punk, electronic music and eventually, hip-hop and dance music. Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are minimized and Ian Drury becomes a major player. It’s a strange turn, and I found myself wondering more than once, what happened to the book I was reading?

Despite this, Cowboys and Indies is a good read and is recommended for those who like the inner workings of the music industry.

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CBC Exposed

November 7th, 2013

Last day to pick up the Kindle edition of  Brian Lilley’s CBC Exposed for free.

I’ve been reading it the past week, and it is a true indictment of how the CBC spends tax dollars, and tries to hide it’s spending from taxpayers.


h/t BCF and SDA.

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Stephen J. Harper: A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & the Rise of Professional Hockey

November 5th, 2013

For many years Prime Minister Harper has mentioned a small project he works on when the politics is done: a book on the history of hockey. Today, that book, A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & the Rise of Professional Hockey hit the bookstores. Looking at the rise of professional hockey in the early years of the 20th century, “A Great Game is about the hockey heroes and hard-boiled businessmen who built the game, and the rise and fall of legendary teams pursuing the Stanley Cup.”

Prime Minister Harper was on Toronto’s Prime Time Sports yesterday to talk about the book.

You can buy the book at the usual bookstores, buy it for your Kindle, iPad or other tablet device or, of course, do what I’m going to do and put it on your Christmas list.

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Christie Blatchford:Helpless

December 29th, 2010
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Christie Blatchford’s Helpless begins with a story. On June 9, 2006 Kathe and Guenter Golke of Simcoe Ontario went for a drive. The 68 and 66 year old wound up in Caledonia, which had been in the news recently due to what they used to call in the movies an Indian incursion.blatchford-helpless2 The Natives of the 6-Nations reserve East of Brantford had taken over an housing development, known as the Douglas Creek Estates, due to a land claim dispute.

Driving through Caledonia the Golke’s slowed down to have a look at the Estate property. A woman on a motorcycle raced up to them:

“Is there a problem?” and then let fly a torrent of verbal abuse, accusing them of coming to “look at the bad Indians.”

They were soon surrounded by First Nations, attempting to stop their car. They spotted an OPP cruiser and went for help. Twenty or so First Nations followed, then surrounded and attacked their car. They jumped on the hood, grabbed for the steering wheel and attempted to open the car doors, while the Golke’s were parked beside the OPP car, talking to the officer.

It was one of three incidents that day, the one that was less newsworthy. A couple of senior citizens are attacked by a mob is much less interesting to big city editor than a policeman or an MSM cameraman assaulted. But it was the most telling: the First Nations had a complaint, so attacking a couple of innocent senior citizens is OK.

The surprising thing about Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All Of Us is how often you put the book down and seethe in quiet anger. Two governments and three OPP Chiefs, including Conservative MP Julian Fantino and his successor Chris Lewis, utterly and completely failed the people of Caledonia. However, it is original Commissioner Gwen Boniface and Inspector Ron George, director of the OPP Aboriginal Relations Team who takes the most blame for the force’s complete lack of action in Caledonia.

Ron George, it should be noted, is cousin of killed First Nations protester Dudley George. Yet without fear of conflict of interest, he was front and centre in the OPP’s decision making process.

The story of Caledonia is about the people who live there, and the people charged with protecting them not failing to do so, but refusing. Sixth line, on the south side of the Douglas Creek Estates, was populated by country homes, owned by non-natives. Although native occupiers of the Estates often criminally harassed the residents, the OPP refused to respond to calls on the sixth line for over three years.

The residents of sixth line were abandoned by those charged with keeping the law in Ontario, a state of Anarchy that they never asked for or did anything to deserve.

Christie Blatchford’s Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All Of Us is a quick, easy read. One of those books you start, curl up with, and find you’ve read half of it by dinner time. My only complaint is that the book is not broken into enough chapters. A chance to breath, and to let some of the anger that overtakes you breath, would help drive the point of the book home: “the failure of government to govern and to protect all it’s citizen’s equally.”

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A Book on Every Bed

December 14th, 2010

Here in Hespeler we have a new addition to our downtown, Millpond Records and Books a used book and record store. While I personally love the record store aspect, this week I’m heading there for a couple of kids book.aaae130d

Literacy is so vital to a person’s well being. Literate kids become happier, more successful adults. Literacy begins with the simple act of reading.

Columnist Amy Dickinson, in association with The Family Reading Partnership, is starting a new program, A Book on Every Bed:

This holiday season I am putting my column where my heart is, and so I’m asking my readers to celebrate the giving season by giving a book to a child, trrough a homegrown, grassroots program called “A Book on Every Bed.”

Here’s how it works:
Take a book.
Wrap it.
Place it on the child’s bed so it is the first thing the child see’s on Christmas morning (or whatever holiday you celebrate)
That’s it…

Santa brings a Pulitzer: This idea was inspired by… Historian David McCullough (author of John Adams)(who) says that every Christmas morning during his childhood he woke up to a wrapped book at the foot of his bed, left by Santa.

…“There are few things that start the day off better, and especially Christmas, than discovering a new book at the foot of your bed. I thinkk my love of books began on Christmas mornings long ago and the love has never gone stale.

It doesn’t have to be an expensive new book. Pick one up at the goodwill store, give one that is in your collection that was special to you as a child. Or do as I’m doing, head down to your town’s own Millpond Records and Books. It’s not about spending a lot of money, it’s about giving a child literacy.


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U of Waterloo Redeems Itself

December 8th, 2010
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I was disappointed in my alma mater, the University of Waterloo (UW), after the Christie Blatchford debacle last month. Et tu, Waterloo I mumbled to no one in particular.blatchford-helpless2

However, unlike other Ontario Universities in Premier Dad’s Paradise, UW stepped up with an immediate, and unequivocal apology:

The university considers Friday’s events as an attack on its presence as a place where issues are explored, discussed and at times debated. The freedom to speak and to learn is fundamental to the institution.

Yesterday, the university had Blatchford back:

flanked by dozens of police,” to give her speech. Agitator Dan Kellar was nowhere to be found, having been banned from the campus….

“God bless Dan Kellar. Driving up book sales wherever he goes,” Blatchford said afterward.

Good on Christeie Blatchford, and good on UW for making sure this event went off safely.

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LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour: Review II

November 24th, 2010
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LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour

I’m a portion of the way through LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour, Stephen Davis’ new autobiographical read on Led Zeppelin’s 1975 tour of America and, more broadly speaking, Led Zeppelin’s 1975, and something is bothering me. In 1969 Davis saw Led Zeppelin at Boston’s famed Tea Party, and was impressed by the young, early rockers.

Between then and 1975 he worked as an editor at Rolling Stone (not the whole time), America’s premiere music magazine. So what does Davis do before heading out with Led Zeppelin? Familiarize himself with the Led Zeppelin catalogue. Familiarize himself, because working for the #1 music magazine means not being familiar with the top selling band, the top concert draw of the last five years?

Taking my assignment seriously, I had to familiarize myself with Led Zeppelin’s music… I had never even listened to 1973’s Houses of the Holy

My brother Chris is eight years younger than I. In 1975 he was still in the clutches of ardent Zeppelin fandom. He told me I had to hear the Led Zeppelin bootleg records because the mystical connection between the band and “the kids“ was a bout a communion forged by their intense love shows.

Yes kids, in 1975 you could be one year out of a Rolling Stone editorship and never listened to a Led Zeppelin album that had been #1 on Billboard, Cashbox and the UK album charts. You never need to wonder again why Led Zeppelin so mistrusted the “rock” press.

That Led Zeppelin mistrusted, even hated, the press is an important part of the story of LZ-’75. Stephen Davis was invited to travel with Led Zeppelin, courtesy of Led Zeppelin, in a proactive attempt to get better press for the band. Stephen Davis, in short, didn’t do his job for five years, and was rewarded with the gig of a lifetime. His superior attitude that the stoned kids who liked Led Zeppelin were, “in the clutches of ardent… fandom,” runs throughout the narrative.

Yet for that, LZ-’75 is an enjoyable read. Once Davis has familiarized himself, and given Led Zeppelin’s history up until 1975, the book settles into a nice memoir of the band and it’s extended family.

Because he knew he would be covering Led Zeppelin during part of their 1975 tour, Davis kept newspaper reports of the early days of the tour. Whether it’s the fans in Boston in near riot during the lead up to the tickets going on sale, or the early shows and the various problems they encountered, Davis covers the history of the 1975 tour. But it is when Davis joins up with Led Zeppelin in New York that LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour comes to life. The book shifts from historical record to personal, first person behind the scenes account of the tour.

It is, however, the Los Angeles portion of the tour that makes LZ-’75 worth the money. Whether it is chance encounters with Jimmy Page’s ex-girlfriend Lori Maddox, (“Lori is a legend along Sunset Strip,”) or Ron Wood’s wife Chrissie, “who ran off with Jimmy before the tour started,” (Wood is reported to have asked Jimmy at an after concert party in New York, “how’s our bird?”): The Hyatt House, known as the Riot House; the groupies; the kindergarten teacher who wants to be a groupie, for one night at least; Iggy Pop selling heroin; John Bonham jamming, at full volume, to Alphonse Mouzon’s 1975 album Mind Transplant at 3AM; or Robert Plant on Davis’ hotel balcony, yelling “I am a Golden God!”

Add in an interview with Robert Plant (during which the aforementioned balcony scene occurs), and a meeting in Jimmy Page’s hotel room where the exhausted(?) Page lies around in darkness, the room barely lit with “a dozen white candles.” Davis has a meeting with the kindergarten teacher, The Prairie Princess, and two roadies at the bar.

Outside the Continental Hyatt House, Davis travels with the band on The Starship – including a harrowing trip through a storm, hangs out backstage, examines John Bonham’s drum-kit with Bonham’s faithful roadie Mick Hinton, to the concerts themselves.

LZ-’75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 American Tour is overall, an easy, comfortable read. Many of the stories herein will be familiar to a Led Zeppelin fan, but weaved together they tell an interesting tale of a top flight band at the apex of their career. Their Achilles Heel, drugs, was just beginning to show itself and the band would change irrevocably in the aftermath of 1975.

Dotted throughout with fabulous black and white pictures by Peter Simon, many of them never before seen, LZ-’75 makes a perfect winter’s afternoon read in the big comfortable chair.


I previously reviewed LZ-’75 from an e-book version here.

Crossposted from RambleOn

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Mark Steyn – Lights Out

April 13th, 2009
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Mark Steyn is back with more of what he does best. The follow up to America Alone, Steyn has a new book, Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech and the Twilight of the West.

lightsoutmedAn signed copy is available through the SteynStore. I’ll be grabbing my copy soon (memo to Mark: it would be easier to buy your stuff if you accepted PayPal).


Update: Welcome readers of SteynOnline.

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Book Review: Gerry Nicholls- Loyal to the Core: Stephen Harper, Me and the NCC

March 23rd, 2009

Gerry Nicholls first book, the autobiographical Loyal to the Core, begins and ends with his time at the National Citizens Coalition (NCC). Nicholls takes us quickly through his early political leanings (Liberal), to his conversion to conservatism at the University of Windsor and to his postgraduate days at London’s Western University. Chapter two begins his career at the NCC in 1985, which lasted until 2007.

Loyal to the Core

Nicholls discusses learning to keep his writing short, simple and on message, and those lessons serve him well in this book. It is tightly written with not a superfluous word to be found in the 200 plus pages of the text: if somebody offers you an over/under of two for semi-colons/colons in Nicholls’ next tome, take the under. This book reads very much like a long version of any of Nicholls well known columns in the daily newspapers. It is readable and enjoyable.

I took this book with me for a two-day visit at my mother in laws and easily read it in the two days. A true rarity in the world of political books Loyal to the Core is enjoyable and never boring. The reason for this is that Nicholls is one of those rare birds: a backroom player who is not a policy geek. Nicholls doesn’t suffer with the ego of a politician or the boring insistence that policy rules all. Instead Nicholls has a pragmatic approach to match firm convictions about what is right. His communication background means his abiding concern is making a point.

The first half of Loyal to the Core is full of good yarns about the National Citizens Coalition and it’s work through the years. If you have paid attention to Canadian politics over the lasts 20 years, then you will fondly remember many of the campaigns that Nicholls was involved in, including the famed pigs at the trough campaign to highlight MPs “gold-plated pensions”, a term the NCC created.

The juicy part of the book, however, is when Stephen Harper becomes President of the NCC. At this juncture we get an insight into Stephen Harper that is not common, neither flattering nor a partisan slag. It is not, however, a personal hack job either. While there is some personal slags, the insight into Harper’s eating habits, and the fact he was called FB, or Fatboy, by NCC staffers is one, Nicholls description of Harper comes across as honest and thoughtful: a cold and tough boss; a boss who would call the Toronto office at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon (he worked out of Calgary) to make sure his employees where still at their desks; a boss who shut down ‘Friday afternoon drinkfest,’ and banned alcohol from the NCC offices; We see that Harper’s ideas are the law, that he takes council poorly and that he was more interested in policy than the NCC’s more traditional advertising blitzes.

Lest you think this is a Harper slap-down, Nicholls is very fair to the man who promoted him to the Vice Presidency of the NCC, and gave him the title of his first book, noting that Nicholls was “loyal to the core”.

Loyal to the Core is a good read, an interesting look at Gerry Nicholls, Stephen Harper, the NCC and the conservative movement in Canada over the last twenty years. If you are interested in politics, then you should probably read it. If you are a conservative who wonders how conservatives can communicate their message in a hostile media climate, it is a must read.

Order Loyal to the Core, and other Conservative books from Freedom Press.

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Double, double Mulroney and trouble; Trudeau burn, and Dion bubble.

September 7th, 2007

I can’t begin to say how much I have been enjoying the political hornets nest Brian Mulroney has stirred up with his trashing of Pierre Trudeau this week, and release of his memoirs, Memoirs 1939-1993 next week.

And, strangely, I half agree with Stephane Dion that Mulroney is off base, although Dion calling him a political coward demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge in Mulroney’s history, if he really believes it. But slapping Trudeau around for youthful indiscretions? Even if they were as serious as being a Nazi sympathizer (which I in no way believe they are), they are events that happened 70 years ago, in the youth of a man who lived a full life, and passed over six years ago. Besides, Trudeau’s work and policies in no way suggest he was sympathetic to the Nazis.

No, if Mulroney wants to attack Trudeau, policy is the place to do it. And there is lots of room to attack, and it is, frankly, fair game whether Trudeau is alive or dead. Policy is the legacy a politician leaves behind, and Trudeau left enough policy is just downright bad. I will reserve judgement until I have read the book, but if Mulroney’s critique of Trudeau can’t rise above the “he didn’t fight the Nazi’s when he had a chance” stuff, if he can’t find enough policy to lambaste Trudeau over, then it explains much about what went wrong during Mulroney’s years in office. If a Conservative Prime Minister can’t find pages an pages of critical comment on Trudeau’s politics, then he should never have been a) a Conservative and b) Prime Minister.

The fallout, however, looks like it will not be constrained to pistols at sunrise between the Trudeaupeans and the Mulroneyites. Today Senator Pat Carney wrote a letter into the Post regarding David Frum’s piece of the free trade Agreement. In his piece, Frum suggested that John Crosbie was the minister of trade who negotiated the FTA. It’s not so much Carney’s setting the record straight that’s interesting; that happens all the time. But the tone of the letter strongly suggests the following entry in Pat Carney’s (Sen. PC) Christmas card list:

John Crosbie

Here is the letter itself:

David Frum’s mundane account of Brian Mulroney’s historic accomplishment in achieving the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is marred by his false assertion that John Crosbie was the minister of trade who negotiated the FTA. That role is properly mine, as trade minister whose signature is on the Agreement in Principle negotiated by finance minister Michael Wilson, chief of staff Derek Burney and myself in a clock-racing marathon in Washinton [sic] on Oct. 4 1987. John Crosbie, who famously said he had never read the FTA, was responsible for implementing the negotiated agreement. Look it up.

With this being the week before the first of the two big memoirs coming in the next few months (Jean Cretien also has his coming out), this could be a lively and fun fall.

Books, Silly Politicians, Who You Calling a Nazi?