Monday, August 06, 2007

August 2007 Book Club Selection: Think Big, Preston Manning

Preston Manning implores Canadians to Think Big

It would probably be fitting to consider the August Nexus of Assholery book club selection to be a continuation of the July slection--because it is.

Think Big picks up where The New Canada left off, and chronicles the various successes and failures of the Reform party, from its triumphant emergence on the federal political stage in 1993, to forming the Official Opposition in 1997, and eventually transforming itself into the Canadian Alliance and, subsequently, the modern Conservative party.

Think Big also relates the stories of Manning's various personal trials, including his bout with prostate Cancer. An atypical autobiographer, Manning pays as close attention to his personal failings as to his successes, including a somber moment in which he castigates himself for failing to defend Deborah Grey from an ad hominem attack in the House of Commons.

His pride at building the Canadian Alliance from the Reform party and members of the provincial Progressive Conservative parties is measured against his disappointment at not being elected leader. And while he doesn't shy away from the necessary criticisms of Stockwell Day for his disastrous run as Alliance leader, he does offer heartfelt and valuable advice to Stephen Harper--advice that Harper would be wise to follow today, even as Prime Minister.

Think Big not only provides valuable insight into what the Reform party became, and what it was actually intended to be, but it also provides an intimate look at a man who is probably one of the best Prime Ministers who never was.

More than anything, Think Big reminds Canadians to always have big hopes, and bigger dreams. There is no reason in the world why Canada cannot be the greatest country on Earth.

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