Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Joseph Heath Wins The Writers' Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

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Joseph Heath

From our friends at Writers' Trust:

The Writers' Trust of Canada announced last night at the Politics and the Pen gala, held at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, that Joseph Heath has won the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives, published by HarperCollins Publishers.

A jury composed of author Denise Chong, author and Ottawa Citizen columnist Terry Glavin, and The Globe and Mail Queen's Park reporter Jane Taber selected the winner. Their citation reads:

"A magisterial survey of the shambles that remains of the Enlightenment's great promise, Joseph Heath's Enlightenment 2.0 is a vivid chronicle of the descent of contemporary politics into a bedlam of competing irrationalities and appeals to unreason. Drawing deeply from popular culture, the social sciences, psychology, and public policy, Enlightenment 2.0 is an important work of serious philosophy that is at the same time lively, lucid, engaging, and entertaining."

Now in its fifteenth year, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing is awarded annually for a book of literary nonfiction that captures a political subject of relevance to Canadian readers and has the potential to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life. The winning work combines compelling new insights with depth of research and is of significant literary merit. The prize particularly values books which provide the general reader with an informed, unique perspective on the practice of Canadian politics, its players, or its principles.

Four finalists for this year's prize received $2,500 each:

  • Chantal Hébert with Jean Lapierre for The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was (Knopf Canada)
  • Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate (Knopf Canada)
  • John Ralston Saul for The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence (Viking Canada)
  • Graham Steele for What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise—and Collapse—of Nova Scotia's NDP Government (Nimbus Publishing)
  • For more information about the winning book and author, as well as the four finalists, please visit the Writers' Trust website.

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