Building the Orange Wave: The Inside Story Behind the Historic Rise of the Jack Layton and the NDP

Brad LaVigne, Author, Olivia Chow, Foreword by
Brad Lavigne. Douglas & McIntyre (PGW, U.S. dist.; HarperCollins Canada; Canadian dist.), $34.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-77162-017-8
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Ebook - 190 pages - 978-1-77162-018-5
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Not so long ago, Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) was polling at single digit levels; its rise from this nadir to official Opposition marks a historic change few would have predicted in the 1990s or even the 2000s. Lavigne, the party's 2011 campaign director, offers an insider's view of this remarkable transformation and of the role played in it by the late Jack Layton, who succumbed to cancer a mere 113 days after his great victory. With an introduction by Layton's wife, Olivia Chow, the work provides a compressed history of Layton's NDP from leadership victory, initial missteps, to Opposition, with enough history to contextualize Layton's accomplishments. Each election cycle is discussed, and while it is true that the Liberals sabotaged themselves, it was Layton's vision that allowed the NDP to exploit the opportunity of the Liberal decline. The work is a well-organized history, concise and straightforward. Its one major flaw is its brevity; under three hundred pages, it fast-forwards though a decade of history. The reader will be entranced but may wish for a more in-depth study. Agent: Rick Broadhead, Rick Broadhead & Associates. (Apr.)
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