Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff


Fire and Ashes

Fire and Ashes summary Þ 108 download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff In 2005 Michael Ignatieff left his life as a writer and professor at Harvard University to enter the combative world of politics back home in Canada By 2008 he was leader of the country's Liberal Party and poised should the governing Conservatives falter to become Canada's next Prime Minister It never happened Today after a bruising electoral defeat Ignatieff is back where he started writing and teaching what he learned. A short book and a uick read I enjoyed reliving this period in Canadian politics through his eyes I witnessed these events as a citizen and as a voter but reading it it became all new again I had expected on the personal side of how one lives and rebuilds a life after defeat but it was all business however interesting This man knows politics and listening to him is at times uite fascinating I have marked off several passages like this one an intellectual may be interested in ideas and policies for their own sake but a politician s interest is exclusively in the uestion of whether an idea s time has come or I can t remember a speech I heard in five years that was actually meant to persuadeI got a clearer view of Canadian politics from this book delivered in a way that was uite enjoyable As I was reading I often thought he must be a great teacher

download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff

Fire and Ashes summary Þ 108 download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Edictable unforgiving and hyper adversarialRough as it is Ignatieff argues democratic politics is a crucible for compromise and many of the apparent vices of political life from inconsistency to the fake smile follow from the necessity of bridging differences in a pluralist society A compelling account of modern politics as it really is the book is also a celebration of the political life in all its wild exuberant varie. It s difficult to review Michael Ignatieff s Fire and Ashes without first giving my views of the Liberal Party that he led He describes it as the centre which is political shorthand for opportunistic They position themselves in such a way that they ll bend whichever way the wind blows Do I blame them for that Hardly The fact that the Canadian people made them the most successful party in the history of western democracy as reward gor their cynicism speaks volumes about voters where the blame always properly lies Moreover the Harper Conservatives have stepped into the void left by the Grits with a jaw dropping lack of principle of their own I was expecting Fire and Ashes to be a political memoir or a screed of empty self justification Although there is some of both there it isn t At least not mainly Instead it is mostly an analysis both of himself and the political life that Ignatieff thrust himself into Although he describes his doomed foray into politics as the experience of his lifetime to read Fire and Ashes you get the distinct impression that he didn t enjoy it very much There are a litany of complaints of the ways he was victimized both by others and by the process itself Although he repeatedly suggests otherwise you can feel Ignatieff s disappointment and bitterness rise off of the pages of Fire and Ashes which is saying something since I bought the eBook For what it s worth I believe that Ignatieff would have been happier and successful in an earlier era politics where the Internet and especially television weren t around to constantly bedevil him at every turn The modern era isn t friendly to academics which Ignatieff and importantly the men in black who brought him home to run should have known Having said all that it is a fascinating read and easily the most honest book by a politician that I ve read and I ve read several hundred Fire and Ashes is book written by someone who is well and truly done with politics It is also a book that could have been written by of all people Richard Nixon were Nixon not allergic to introspection and not addicted at the molecular level at the prospect of a comeback Fire and Ashes of course has the advantage of Ignatieff s being an author before he was an office seeker which is unusual in this age This is I believe his 18th book I would recommend the book particularly to an American audience since its message applies even to US politics than it s Canadian cousin

Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters

Fire and Ashes summary Þ 108 download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff What did he take away from this crash course in political success and failure Did a life of thinking about politics prepare him for the real thing How did he handle it when his own history as a longtime expatriate became a major political issue Are cynics right to despair about democratic politics Are idealists right to hope Ignatieff blends reflection and analysis to portray today's democratic politics as ruthless unpr. A refreshingly candid look at elected politics The author was a professor at Harvard who had left Canada for 34 years and was recruited to move back to Canada to run for Parliament and eventually for Prime Minister He went through it all bad faith attacks growing ambition and unexpected defeats His writing is frank honest and often raw He is also a great writer Lot of good uotes ran out room A politician s job can be so thankless at times that if you don t acuire a sense of vocation you turn yourself by stages without realizing it into a hack These are the moments and they occur in every tough job when you re no longer sure you re up to it Your every mistake seems to confirm that you aren t Your self confidence is shot All you know for certain is that you once wanted this and that you have to find that primal desire within if you hope to survive So it had better be therePolitics tests your capacity for self knowledge than any profession I know What I learned is this the uestion about why you want to be a politician is a uestion about whom you want it for In my case whom did I want it for Any sense of entitlement that you might take from your past is absolutely fatal in politics The best thing about democracy is or should be that you have to earn everything one vote at a time I knew enough not to feel entitled I knew I had to earn it But the fact that I come from a family with a calling for public life played powerfully in my mind as I considered whether to accept the offer from the men who had come to dinner that October night By this point you have every reason to be tired of the self dramatization and self importance in this search for the motives that led me into politics All I would say is that self dramatization is the essence of politics You have to invent yourself for public consumption and if you don t take yourself seriously who else will While a painter s medium is paint a politician s medium is time he must adapt ceaselessly to its sudden unexpected and brutal changes An intellectual may be interested in ideas and policies for their own sake but a politician s interest is exclusively in the uestion of whether an idea s time has come When we call politics the art of the possible we mean the art of knowing what is possible here and now The possible includes the potential Where an average politician sees only a closed room a visionary one sees the hidden door at the back that leads to a new opportunity What we call luck in politics is actually a gift for timing for knowing when to strike and when to bide your time and wait for a better opportunity When politicians blame their fate on bad luck they are actually blaming their timing Only fools believe they can control it In politics as combat any stick will do and in combat what matters is not proving your good faith but winning Many successful people contemplating entry into politics disdain the endless meet and greet the forced bonhomie of life under the public gaze as beneath their dignity but they are wrong The grind of politics the endless travel the meetings the impossible schedule the constant being on show are all in search of an authority that can be acuired in no other way You have to learn the country What a good politician comes to know about a country can t be found in a briefing book What he knows is the way the people shape place and place shapes the people Few forms of political expertise matter so much as local knowledge the details of the local political lore the names of the dignitaries and power brokers mayors high school coaches police chiefs major employers who must always be named from the platform Great politicians have to be masters of the local They have to at least remember every place they ever set foot in Wherever they are they have to give the impression of being at home When they ask someone in a crowd where they hail from they should be able to produce a story that neatly connects them to that voter with the jolt of human recognition As soon as democracy loses its connection to place as soon as the location of politics is no longer the union hall the living room the restaurant and the local bar and becomes only the television screen and the website we ll be in trouble We ll be entirely in the hands of image makers and spin doctors and the fantasies they purvey Politics will be a spectacle dictated from the metropolis not a reality lived in the small towns and remote communities that are as much part of the country as the big cities For all the talk about the Internet as the enabler of democracy the Internet could cause us to lose the aspect of politics that makes it truly democratic the physical contact between voters and politicians Now that I was in the fray I admired the masters of the art even and I thought back to a master class I had been given in politics in 2001 I was steering Bill Clinton through a room at the Davos meetings at the Waldorf Astoria in New York I was amazed at his ability to remember names and not just names but whole family stories as he sueezed this hand leaned in to kiss that cheek locked his gaze on another s and kept moving baling them in like a combine harvester When I met President Obama later on I will never forget the grip on my elbow the uick mention of a book of mine a reference to a mutual friend Samantha Power and his casual grace together with the capacity to make you feel when you were speaking that you were the only person of interest to him in the room When we call a politician a natural we mean she has this mysterious ability to make a connection with others to make them feel at ease to make them feel special All naturals get better with practice but unless it comes naturally it doesn t look real What must be real is not so much the smoothness for which politicians are both envied and despised but real curiosity and interest in people s stories in the way they tell them and the meaning they are trying to convey Of all the ualities that go into sprezzatura I would rate listening being able to deeply listen to your fellow citizens as the most underrated skill in politics For what people want in a politician what they have a right to demand is to be listened to Often listening is all you can do Their problems may not admit of a political solution or at least not a solution you can devise People will accept that you cannot solve their problems if you give them all of your attention looking into their eyes never over their shoulder at the next person in line Countries are imagined communities and politicians are the ones who represent what we share and then figure out the compromises that enable us to live together in peace What you learn from your mistakes is that politics is a game with words but it isn t Scrabble No one who enters the political arena for the first time is ever prepared for its adversarial uality Every word you utter becomes an opportunity for your opponents to counterattack Inevitably you take it personally and that is your first mistake You have to learn what the lifers wise with years of experience have long since understood it s never personal it s strictly business Obviously a straight answer to a straight uestion is a good idea and when citizens put a uestion to you such candour becomes an obligation They elect you after all The rules are different with the press In the strange kabuki play of a press conference or interview candour is a temptation best avoided Be candid if you can be strategic if you must All truth is good the African proverb goes but not all truth is good to say You try never to lie but you don t have to answer the uestion you re asked only the uestion you want to answer most people regard the spectacle of political combat with a mixture of disgust and alarm fading uickly into indifference Working with this permanent state of alienation is an important part of the politician s art Politicians have to negotiate trust against the backdrop of permanent dislike of their own profession When you represent the people you actually spend most of your time trying to overcome their suspicion that you have left them behind to join a brutal game that will do them no good You counter this feeling as best you can by attending the neighbourhood garden party the parent teacher association meeting the ribbon cutting ceremony the school prize giving all to show that you have not delivered yourself up to the alien political world The impossible schedules of politicians the almost total surrender of their private lives the way they boast of how many constituency events they attend every weekend all this activity springs from the need to show presence to prove your loyalty to the people who elected you not to the dire game played in the capital city Yet the gulf between representatives and the people cannot be fully overcome You and your voters do not share the same information the same space or the same concerns Political issues divide roughly into two those that matter only to politicians and to the tiny in group of press and partisans who follow the game and the much smaller number that matter to the people at large You can destroy yourself if you confuse the former for the latter When politicians cry foul in the middle of the game voters mostly ignore them on the sensible suspicion that they would say that wouldn t they Voters also thought and this reflects a widely shared conception of representative democracy that they had selected us to represent them and we should just get on with it and come back and see them at election time Liberals like me who believed in an empowering government failed to appreciate what it was like to beg for visas to ueue in a government office to be kept waiting by a computerized government answering service or to hang around a mailbox every day for a late pension or employment insurance cheue Having had their fill of these experiences some of my constituents wanted to keep government as far away from their lives as they could Once the liberal state fails to treat citizens with respect citizens conclude that the less they have to do with it the better and the less they have to do with the state the lower they want their taxes to be The political beneficiaries of this downward spiral were our Conservative opponents They offered no solution slashing services in order to lower taxes is no answer if the services remain as necessary as ever but they had heard the mood music out there and we Liberals had not The longer you leave an attack unanswered the damage it does and if you refuse to dignify the attacks with a response you have already given up Dignity doesn t come into it If you don t defend yourself people conclude either that you are guilty as charged or that you are too weak to stand and fight After all if you won t stick up for yourself you won t stick up for them either This is how you lose standing with voters But standing is not a right It is a privilege earned from voters one at a time It is a non transferable form of authority Nothing about past rank expertise ualifications or previous success entitles you to it We can all think of people of good character who never achieved standing with a national electorate We can also call to mind political figures whose character was uestionable Bill Clinton being a possible example who never lost standing with the voters Nor is having standing the same thing as being liked We can all think of successful politicians like Richard Nixon for example who were never much liked but still managed to conserve reluctant standing from the electorate You might suppose that popularity would confer standing but there are plenty of celebrities pop stars basketball players and television show hosts who fail to translate their popularity into political success Some think that money will confer standing but multi millionaires recurrently run for office in the United States and lose the most recent example being Mitt Romney Nor do degrees confer standing Success in education is a badge of merit that people actually earn yet people with degrees often have trouble converting their achievements into standing The reason is simple education codes as entitlement and voters hate entitlement the way they hate privilege Educated people routinely complain about this but they are wrong Standing has to be earned and degrees earn you nothing This estimable principle leads however to a paradox You can be elected without education character likeability popularity degrees or a fat bank account but you cannot be elected without standing Given these rules it s a wonder that we elect as many capable politicians as we do irst time candidates like myself learn soon enough that party selection authoritative endorsement and our supposedly impressive CVs do not entitle us to standing with voters If you think standing is an entitlement you are bound to lose You have go to out and earn it face to face doorstep by doorstep phone call by phone callAs voters decide whether to give you standing they listen to the political parties as well as to neighbours and family members but increasingly they make up their minds alone in front of a computer or television screen Instead of empowering the voter this solitude disempowers it increases the influence of big buy advertising the negative attack ads that were used so effectively against me The solitary voter faces the negative ad onslaught alone and if there is no one out there prepared to contradict those ads their impact shapes how voters see you The rational reason why issues matter less than personality in politics why elections turn on which candidate successfully establishes standing is that voters are good at deciding who is worth hearing and who is worth trusting To decide whom to trust voters focus on the uestion of whether the candidate is like them or not The uestion a citizen asks when determining whether another citizen should represent them is whether that person is representative of them Voters want a candidate to recognize who they are and candidates do this by showing that they are one of them Voters ask further uestions like Is this person who he says he is They will cease to be referenda on the kind of country we want Of the three elections that I fought none was a debate on the country s future All were vicious battles over standing It is striking that in five and a half years in politics none of my opponents ever bothered to attack what I was saying what my platform said

  • Hardcover
  • 205
  • Fire and Ashes
  • Michael Ignatieff
  • English
  • 04 April 2019
  • 9780674725997

10 thoughts on “Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

  1. says: Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff A note of full disclosure I stood as an NDP candidate in the 2011 federal election the election that saw Michael Ignatieff’s political career go down in flames precipitating this book being written and have studied many of his academic pieces while a graduate student at the University of WaterlooJust 30 pages in I commented on my

  2. says: Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff read & download Fire and Ashes The Philosopher Prince Because Michael Ignatieff never became kingBut his reflection on political life is a refreshingly above the fray take on Canadian politics He does recount the important moments of the Harper government first election prorogation majority from an rival's perspective He also shows his academic side in thoughts on democracy how representatives relate to citizens and the realities of winning

  3. says: Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff A short book and a uick read I enjoyed reliving this period in Canadian politics through his eyes I witnessed these events as a citizen and as a voter but reading it it became all new again I had expected on the pe

  4. says: Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff Michael Ignatieff’s “Fire and Ashes” is a sweet read It starts off a little slow and intially gets you thinking this sounds arrogant but then suddenly the narrative shifts and he addresses for the reader what this arrogance meant within the context of the political career he had The book is essentially an inside loo

  5. says: Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    read & download Fire and Ashes Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff The best modern book about politics I have ever read

  6. says: download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff read & download Fire and Ashes A refreshingly candid look at elected politics The author was a professor at Harvard who had left Canada for 34

  7. says: read & download Fire and Ashes download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters

    Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff Michael Ignatieff is something of an enigma Here is a man who has been a historian a journalist a broadcaster a screenwriter a professor and a politician By any objective measure this should be considered a wildly successful career Yet Michael Ignatieff is regarded as a failure It is the last profession he chose politics that irreparably tarnished his reputation and that is the subject of this bookThis book has been d

  8. says: Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff read & download Fire and Ashes

    Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters It's difficult to review Michael Ignatieff's Fire and Ashes without first giving my views of the Liberal Party that he led He descri

  9. says: Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff read & download Fire and Ashes

    Michael Ignatieff ✓ 8 characters download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff This book is definitely “open” than other books in the sense that the author opens up about his struggles in the politi

  10. says: read & download Fire and Ashes Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff

    download Ù eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Michael Ignatieff Free E–pub (Fire and Ashes) by Michael Ignatieff After thirty years as an academic teaching and writing about philosophy and political theory and with no experience in pra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *