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Sharon Carstairs
Toronto, Macmillan Canad a, 1993. 272pp,
cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-7715- 9016-4. CIP

Subject Headings:
Carstairs, Sharon.
Liberal Party in Manitoba.
Women in politics-Manitoba.

Grades 12 and up / Ages 17 and up

Reviewed by Catherine R. Cox

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

Sharon Carstairs, the outspoken leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba from 1984 to 1992, is the product of a Nova Scotia political family. The daughter of Nova Scotia Premier Harold Connelly, she grew up in a Liberal household. She attended Dalhousie University and Smith College and began her career as a teacher in the United States and later Alberta. Abused by a family friend when she was a child, Sharon Connelly grew up to be a reserved young woman. Her interest in politics led her into active service as president of the Liberal Party in Alberta and later leader in Manitoba. During her term in the Manitoba Legislature she waged an active campaign against the Meech Lake accord for a time. Her account of this period gives the reader some inside information on the Liberal Party and its prominent members. She certainly did not get along with Lloyd Axworthy! And she did not always toe the party line.

As a political autobiography, this one is typical--partisan and self-centered. If the reader is a Liberal or from Manitoba, or both, the names she drops and the references she makes might be of more interest. Carstairs is an admirable woman who had an exciting career. Her story should be told, but maybe by somebody else.

Recommended with reservations.

Catherine R. Cox is a teacher-librarian at Moncton High School in Moncton, New Brunswick

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