Sunday, October 6, 2013

MY FALL HARVEST: A CORNUCOPIA OF READING

A few family members bestowed some great new books on me for my birthday.

I have been rather engaged with Gregory Power's The Power of the Pen, J.R. Smallwood's - The New Newfoundland and the Fall 2012 Journal of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. 

Smallwood's 1931 tome is an interesting read. It was written well before the Confederation Debates and The Commission of Government. The country was on the verge of a boom with a new paper mill in Corner Brook, the Iron Ore Mines on Bell Island  producing and the great Richard Squires at the helm. Reading it from the perspective of those heady times provides some insight into the hopes and aspirations that young Smallwood had for the industrialization of his native land.

Harold Horwood's editing and compilation of the writings of Greg Power provide another look at Smallwood. Power was one of Joey's right hand men in the fight for Confederation. Power sat in Smallwood's cabinet but the pair had a falling out. Power became one of Smallwoods most vocal critics at a time when there was very little opposition in House of Assembly or the media. The Power Of The Pen is a fun read.

The Fall 2012 Journal of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies features two essays that are of great interest to me. Placentia native Jeffery Collins contribution,  Executive Federalism And The Terms Of Union: A New Approach To Understanding "The Roads-for-Rails" and the "Roads-for-Boats" Agreements, is very good. The Public Administration and Constitutional Law student in me got all hyped reading through this excellent text.  I am working my way through Dr. Melvin Baker's - William Ford Coaker, The Formative Years. 1871-1908. Memorial University's Archivist/Historian is working on a biography of Coaker.

The challenge now will be to stay the course with the three books I am currently into or spread my reading time out amongst a few more. I have already read the introduction and first chapter of Micheal Ignatieff's Fire and Ashes. I do not think waiting is an option. 

I also received Susan Delacourt's provocative Shopping for Votes. After reading the Sasha Issenbergs's The Victory Lab and the Permanent Campaign - New Media, New Politics, I am really intrigued to learn more about how Canadian Parties have adopted consumer marketing techniques to campaigning.

Malcolm Gladwell's latest offering, David & Goliath, is going to be hard to put off. The Premiers Joey and Frank: Greed, Power, and Lust by Bill Rowe rounds out my literary presents for my birthday.

I feel like a kid in a candy store. Do I finish my black licorice or move onto a Sugar Daddy?

Which reminds me, thanks Nanny Moe for the Pumpkin Pie. It was much better than any birthday cake!

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