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Murray Dobbin
Toronto, James Lorimer, 1991. 230pp, paper, $16.95
ISBN 1-55028-357-X. CIP

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Thomas F. Chambers

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Few politicians command as much attention as Preston Manning, leader of the Reform Party. There is an urgent need for information on the man and his ideas.

Murray Dobbin, a Saskatchewan Journal­ist, tries to shed some light on this enigmatic man and his party. Unfortunately, he tries to do the job with too little information, Man­ning would not grant Dobbin the favour of an interview, so Dobbin has to rely on secondary sources and interviews. These are, at best, a poor source of information. At the end of this book, many questions remain.

The book is well written and easy to read. The author does a good job highlighting Manning's youth and the influences on his formative years. He is, however, unable to crack the shell of secrecy surrounding Manning the adult.

The overall impression Dobbin tries to create of the Reform Party is negative. He dislikes the conservative, Protestant back­ground of the members in Alberta and their altitudes toward government and the economy. It is precisely these conservative values which have accounted for the party's rapid growth.

To hurt the party's reputation, Dobbin also attempts to connect Reform with a variety of right-wing groups. He assumes that because members of these groups are joining Reform, Reform must accept their views. His conclusions are not logical and weaken the value of the book.

Thomas F. Chambers, Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology, North Bay, Ont.

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