Skip to main content

Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson is this year's winner for an in-depth exploration of Stephen Harper.

John Ibbitson is this year's winner of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, it was announced Wednesday.

Mr. Ibbitson was honoured for his biography Stephen Harper, the second time in three years that a book about the former prime minister of Canada has captured the $25,000 prize. It was awarded during the annual Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa. (Paul Wells won in 2014 for The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-.)

In its citation, the jury said that "the many ways in which Canada changed during Stephen Harper's nearly 10 years in power have been well documented. But the man himself has remained a mystery. With impressive access and meticulous research, John Ibbitson writes a remarkable biography that puts us inside Harper's head during some of the most critical moments of his life, providing the definitive picture to date of one of the most significant Prime Ministers in Canadian history."

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Ibbitson, a writer-at-large for The Globe and Mail, is the author of five previous books of political non-fiction, including The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream and The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future, co-written with Darrell J. Bricker. He is a past finalist for the Donner Prize, the Trillium Book Award and the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, among other prizes.

The other finalists, who each receive $2,500, are Norman Hillmer for O.D. Skelton: A Portrait of Canadian Ambition; Andrew Nikiforuk for Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider's Stand Against the World's Most Powerful Industry; Sheila Watt-Cloutier for The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet; and Greg Donaghy for Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr.

They were selected by award-winning author and military historian Tim Cook, McGill University political science professor Antonia Maioni and Globe and Mail investigative reporter Robyn Doolittle.

Founded after the 1998 death of Ms. Cohen, who was a member of Parliament from Windsor, Ont., the prize celebrates a book "that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life."

Previous winners include Roméo Dallaire, Jane Jacobs, Anna Porter and Joseph Heath, who won last year for Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading…

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.