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Shaughnessy Cohen 2013

Writers’ Trust Reveals Year’s Best Political Books

Policy-oriented shortlist encompasses war, urban planning, modern leadership

February 4, 2014 – Toronto –
The Writers’ Trust of Canada has named the five finalists for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The winner will be announced in Ottawa on April 2, 2014, at the Politics and the Pen Gala.

Finalist books include a cautionary tale of how nations stumble toward war in spite of a common desire to keep the peace; a tour of the urbanist fervor that is changing the structure and soul of cities around the world; a critique of attempts to operate public administration under private sector-style management; an uncensored account of what a young and idealistic journalist saw during six years of reporting on the war in Afghanistan; and an authoritative portrait of Canada’s current Prime Minister. Each nominated author will receive $2,500.

The finalists, selected by Calgary Herald editorial page editor Licia Corbella, journalist Jane O’Hara, and Globe and Mail international affairs columnist Doug Saunders, are:

MacMillanMargaret MacMillan for The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
Published by Allen Lane Canada

MontgomeryCharles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Published by Doubleday Canada


SavoieDonald J. Savoie for Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher? How Government Decides and Why
Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press

SmithGraeme Smith for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan,
Published by Knopf Canada

WellsPaul Wells for The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006 –
Published by Random House Canada

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize is sponsored by Bell Media and supported by the Politics and the Pen Gala. Click here for more information on this year’s finalists and here to download high-resolution images of the nominated authors and their books.

About the Prize

Now in its fourteenth year, the prize 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.

About Shaughnessy Cohen

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing was established in honour of the outspoken and popular member of Parliament from Windsor, Ontario, who died on December 9, 1998.

About Politics and the Pen

Politics and the Pen is the highlight of the capital’s spring social calendar and an important annual fundraising event benefiting the Writers’ Trust. Held at the Fairmont Ch√Ęteau Laurier, the event attracts 500 guests from the city’s political and literary circles. Microsoft Canada sponsors the Politics and the Pen dinner, and MTS Allstream Inc. sponsors the Politics and the Pen pre-dinner and post-dinner receptions. To date, the Politics and the Pen Gala has raised $2.5 million to support the programs of the Writers’ Trust.

About the Writers’ Trust

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. 


For more information and interview opportunities, contact:

Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502

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