Just in time for Canada Day, Trent University Durham – GTA History professor Robert A. Wright has rolled out a new blog. The prize-winning author and journalist Linda McQuaig writes, “With a shrewd eye, Robert Wright delivers a daily dose of insight with news tidbits and media analysis. I don’t always agree with him but find his blog sharp, informative and fun to read.”
The author most recently of Trudeaumania, Professor Wright keeps it simple. There is one post daily, always capped at 100 words. Topics have ranged from the recent arrival of Canadian troops in Latvia to the role of farmers in undoing Maxime Bernier’s Conservative Party leadership run.
In a post titled “Early Morning Rain,” Prof. Wright ponders and delights in the lasting significance of Gordon Lightfoot in how Canadians understand themselves. “Here he stands, all these years later, the voice of a country that continues to apologize for its success.” In “Two Probes,” Prof. Wright compares Québec Premier Philippe Couillard’s plan to open a new discussion of the Constitution with Canadians to NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, set to fly into the sun in 2018. While the latter “will have to survive temperatures of 1,371 degrees Celsius, it is likely that Couillard’s will be the first to flame out. No prime minister bearing the name Trudeau is going to be drawn into a conversation about asymmetrical federalism.”
Blog posts reach past Canada’s borders. There is a wonderfully compact book review of Bruce Cannon Gibney’s “rollicking rampage through the golden fields of the Boomers” in A Generation of Sociopaths (Hachette, 2017). Riffing on former Mexican President Vicente Fox’s accusation-gone-viral that U.S. President Donald Trump has “declared war on the planet itself,” Prof. Wright warns us, tongue planted firmly in cheek, that, “as for the universe beyond, new ripples have been discovered in space-time. The White House has refused comment.”
An unabashed Robert Wright fan, Trent University President Leo Groarke has confessed to keeping Prof. Wright’s books close at hand, on his bedside table. “Robert Wright is one of Canada’s foremost authors on recent Canadian history,” President Groarke notes. “As a history professor, he pays scholarly attention to detail, but writes like a novelist, bringing history to life in a way that is as engaging as it is edifying. We are lucky to have him writing history for all of us.”