As some of you have heard, I wound up winning the Shaughnessy Cohen prize for Political Writing last night in Ottawa. Which was exciting!
And no, I won’t be reviewing my own book here. You see though why I wanted to get my reviews/reaction pieces on the other books done before the announcement was made — whether I won or lost, it would have seemed weird to write about them afterwards.
For those who are looking for a review of Enlightenment 2.0, I would recommend this one by Ivor Tossell — on the grounds that there was nothing in it that I disagreed with (and the criticisms were I thought spot on). When that review came out, I laughed at the line “Reading Enlightenment 2.0 feels a bit like arriving in a professor’s lecture in the third week of a course, and being left to piece together what we missed,” because in fact the original first chapter of the book was cut out during the editorial process. I promised to put it up someday on the blog, so here it is. Reading it over again reminds me why it was a good idea to cut it, so I’m putting it up in part to illustrate the role that good editing can play in improving a book. It would never have occurred to me to cut out my own first chapter. But if you read the pdf, you see that things get really bogged down on pages 4-7. It’s very standard among academics to want to situate things historically before going on to talk about them. But the people ain’t got no time for that! Better to just launch into saying what you want to say, even at the risk of leaving people a bit disoriented.
Finally, since the book jacket has me listed as Director of the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto (which I was at the time), a lot of the notices in the media have reproduced this claim. I would like to point out though that since last summer, the Director of the Centre for Ethics has in fact been my colleague Simone Chambers.