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Ian Austen profiles Michael Ignatieff for the New York Times.

Like many of the ancestors in his mother’s family who went abroad, Mr. Ignatieff concluded that he would never be fully a part of life in either of his adopted homes in London and Cambridge, Mass. “I know quite a bit about expatriation,” he said. “You always hit a glass ceiling.”

In Britain, that realization came when he was told that he would not be given a television project because he was Canadian. In the United States, it was more a matter of gradual alienation. Mr. Ignatieff said he found the debates in the last decade about stem cell research, abortion and public health care almost baffling. “What are they arguing about?” he recalled thinking. “I don’t want to overstate this, as I love American politics. But you do come up that it’s not your home.”

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