DOING IT RIGHT: EMINENT CANADIANS CONFRONT THE FUTURE.
Edited and introduced by John C. Munro. Toronto, James Lorimer, 1987. 129pp, paper,ISBN 0-88862-864-1 (cloth) $24.95, 0-88862-863-3 (paper) $12.95. CIP
Volume 16 Number 2
Doing It Right consists of a series of essays by prominent Canadians such as Mel Hurtig, Premier David Peterson and Bruce McLeod. The book is edited by John Munro, a former Trudeau cabinet minister.
A list of contributors such as the above combined with the subtitle Eminent Canadians Confront the Future is bound to attract attention. Each of the essays deals with some aspect of Canadian life (free trade, labour-management relations, homosexuality, etc.). The essays are brief (six to seventeen pages) and to the point. The authors' writing styles are straightforward and easily understood by the lay-reader.
There are, however, a couple of problems with the work. The first is its bias. Nearly every contributor has some connection with the Liberal party or at least has philosophical leanings in that direction. As a result, the essays generally take a liberal approach to a problem. Some are more objective than others, but there is very little here that could be considered the "conservative point of view."
The second problem is that very little in the way of really new ideas is presented. Some of the essays review the accomplishments of previous governments (and their commissions on the problems), while others simply restate the problem and what has been tried in the past, both here and in other countries (this sometimes means an idea new to Canada).
With these limitations in mind, one will still find the book useful as background material. It may also help the Liberals find (or rediscover) the foundation and direction for their party that they currently seem to be lacking. There is no index or bibliography.
Recommended for public libraries with active political science collections and larger high school libraries.
Charles Ottosen, Airdrie Public Library, Airdrie, Alta.
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