Book Review

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Religious freedom precarious in the West

Religious freedom precarious in the West

In It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies (Harper, 192 pages), Mary Eberstadt documents how faithful Christians throughout the Western world are now living in fear of escalating religious oppression. Of course, Eberstadt readily acknowledges that persecution of the faithful outside the West is vastly worse. In particular, she cites the agony of Christians in the Middle East and Africa where, “radical Islam has been slaughtering and raping and ... (Continue reading)

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The Walls Are Talking: are you listening?

The Walls Are Talking:  are you listening?

The Walls are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell their Stories by Abby Johnson (Ignatius Press, $23, 160 pages) When it was released in the beginning of 2011, Abby Johnson’s biography Unplanned got the pro-life movement all abuzz. Planned Parenthood’s 2008 Employee of the Year and director of a Texas Planned Parenthood facility Johnson had had a conversion after assisting with an ultrasound-guided abortion on September 26, 2009. She had ... (Continue reading)

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Politics as marketing

Politics as marketing

Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control by Alex Marland (UBC Press, $39.95 528 pages) In many ways, the thesis of Alex Marland is nothing new: governments and political parties have strict control of their messaging as they present themselves as brands to be sold to voters. Marland, a political science professor at Memorial University, brings scholarly treatment to the topic, with everything good and ... (Continue reading)

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McGuinty’s disingenuous memoirs

McGuinty’s disingenuous memoirs

Review Paul Tuns I have reviewed a good number of political memoirs over the years, and my observation is always the same: they are unsatisfying in what is left unsaid or merely hinted at. Dalton McGuinty’s Making a Difference (Dunburn, 240 pages, $35) is no different. It is no easy task writing a memoir of a 25-year political career, from running in Ottawa South to replace his father as ... (Continue reading)

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Turning modern Christmas books into a new family tradition

Turning modern Christmas books into a new family tradition

It’s hard not to look forward to Christmas. It’s a wonderful time of the year when friends and family get together to help trim the tree, put up the wreath and lights, sing carols, exchange presents, and enjoy a magnificent feast. A memorable holiday tradition throughout the ages has been to gather around a central location, such as a fireplace, and read classic Christmas stories. Some typical holiday selections have included Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the ... (Continue reading)

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Human beings have value

Human beings have value

  Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin (Penguin, $32.95, 248 pages) There is a growing concern about the future of man. Can mere human beings compete with technology in the job market? Geoff Colvin, author of Talent is Overrated, has written a stunning defense of flesh and blood human beings in Humans are Underrated, a business book. It is true that robots and ... (Continue reading)

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Political books show timidity of leaders

Political books show timidity of leaders

This election season has seen the release of numerous political books, but three stand out as important. Ostensibly books about Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and by the current NDP and former Liberal leaders, might not provide similar insights, but indirectly they do. There have been numerous anti-Harper books released in the past year or so, evidence of what some call Anti-Harper Syndrome. This is not to say there are ... (Continue reading)

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The importance of dad

The importance of dad

The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love edited by Jonathan V. Last (Templeton, $31.50, 180 page) Last year, Jonathan V. Last edited a wonderful volume, The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 Conservative Writers on the Virtuous Life. In his most recent collection, 17 conservative writers, reflect on what it means to be a father and advise on how to do it right. Last says in his introduction that ... (Continue reading)

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The fragile dew-drop

The fragile dew-drop

We live, scientists tell us, in a four-dimensional space-time continuum. In a way that is difficult to grasp, space and time are profoundly inter-related. But the imagination lives in a fifth dimension -- Dimension H -- the realm of the hypothetical. What is and what could be lie in tantalizingly close proximity to each other, separated only by our free choices. Free choice is the dramatic switch that separates ... (Continue reading)

Becoming his own man? Justin Trudeau’s quest for a liberal Canada

Becoming his own man? Justin Trudeau’s quest for a liberal Canada

The Dauphin: The Truth about Justin Trudeau by Paul Tuns (Freedom Press, $21.95 paperback, $9.99 Kindle, 214 pages) At the millennium funeral of the redoubtable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, his eldest son, Justin, delivered a eulogy that defined the differences between Trudeau the Elder and Trudeau the Younger. In an effort seemingly to underscore the drama and solemnity of the moment, the Younger employed the opening line of ... (Continue reading)

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Justin Trudeau on abortion

Justin Trudeau on abortion

For most of Justin Trudeau’s first two years as leader, he evaded specific policy questions and offered platitudes that would offend as few people as possible while making his ideas and ideals sound lofty. But on a pair of divisive issues, Trudeau took positions in which he was crystal clear: legalizing drugs and protecting abortion. When it came to abortion, Trudeau staked his ground early, as an MP. In February ... (Continue reading)

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Being Mortal is mostly good, except for egregious euthanasia error

Being Mortal is mostly good, except for egregious euthanasia error

Dr. Atul Gawande is a renowned surgeon, public-health researcher and medical professor at Harvard. His latest book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, contains many valuable suggestions for improving the care and treatment of terminally ill patients nearing the end of life. To begin with, Gawande notes that as recently as 1945, most deaths in the United States, Canada, and other industrialized countries occurred at home. Today, most ... (Continue reading)

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Elite ideology as class warfare

Elite ideology as class warfare

I blame Karl Marx for a lot of things, but after inspiring some of the most destructive and blood-thirsty governments in modern history, his most abidingly destructive legacy is hobbling our understanding of the word “class.” For as long as I’ve been alive, when almost anyone talks about the class system they end up invoking images frozen somewhere in the middle of the European 19th century. Arrogant entitled aristocrats and heartless mill owners; upright bourgeois, dispirited workers and peasants. It’s a ... (Continue reading)

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Classical virtues vs. modern values

Classical virtues vs. modern values

The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 Conservative Writers on Why the Virtuous Life is Funny as Hell edited by Jonathan V. Last (Templeton, Press, $28.48, 190 pages) Jonathan V. Last has collected a wonderful array of conservative writers to talk about the seven cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope, and charity, and how they have gone out of fashion. The authors, ranging from the well-known Jonah Goldberg and ... (Continue reading)

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A nice story

A nice story

Saved – By Mother Teresa by Sara denBok with Tim denBok (LifeCycle Books, $5, 22 pages Sara denBok’s story is remarkable and indeed miraculous. An orphan in India rescued by a police officer and delivered to the orphanage run by Mother Teresa. It is hard to imagine that denBok would be alive today were it not for the life-saving and life-affirming work of a 4-foot, 10-inch Missionary of Charity nun ... (Continue reading)

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