‘The daily bread of politics’

Robert Fulford is unimpressed.

In 1987, the 40-year-old Michael was an academic and a journalist, little more than a footnote to a narrative focussed on his grandparents, Count Paul Ignatieff and Princess Natasha and the revolution that forced them into exile. But in 2009 he’s a star. He’s the fourth generation mentioned in the subtitle and his prose indicates that he’s conscious at every moment of the impression he’s making on potential voters. Even the title qualifies as an election slogan. Five years ago “true patriot love” would have been an ironic or hopelessly banal label for the work of a sophisticated intellectual like Ignatieff. But now that he’s in politics those words, while still mawkish and obvious, seem almost appropriate.

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