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Editorial Matters

Thursday, May 08, 2014 at 3:08pm

In Search of Canada
As editor of the Manitoba, later Winnipeg Free Press, from 1901 until his death, John Wesley Dafoe was one of Canada's most influential journalists. In Search of Canada, written by his grandson Christopher Dafoe, describes the formative years of this famous newspaper editor from his unpromising beginnings in the backwoods of pre-Confederation Ontario to his early and unexpected success in nineteenth century Canadian journalism. Along the way, the author explores Dafoe's family background, his education, his early career, his rise as a national and international figure and his lifelong search for a true Canadian identity.

In Search of the Truth
In February 2013, Tom Flanagan, a University of Calgary professor and former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, made comments surrounding the issue of viewing child pornography that were tweeted from the event at which he was speaking and broadcast worldwide. In the time it took to drive from Lethbridge to his home in Calgary, the story was front-page news across Canada. Most of the reports cast Flanagan as a pariah for simply sounding an opinion (he in no way suggested that he was anything but virulently opposed to child pornography) in an academic setting. In Persona Non Grata, Flanagan tells his side of the story in a passionate defense of free speech, not just in Canada but everywhere. Flanagan's is hardly the first book on the subject, but what makes this book different is the component of the internet. A powerful vehicle for free expression, it does allow people to pass anonymous, and sometimes virulent, judgment against those whose opinions they disagree with. Persona Non Grata is a sobering look into the kind of political correctness that threatens freedom of speech and discussion in Canada.

This article appeared in the May/June issue of our news magazine, The Bookseller. You can pick up a free print copy of the news mag inside of our stores.

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