Apropos of nothing (III)

A very rough—and not entirely chronological—sketch of Michael Ignatieff’s time abroad.

After graduating from the University of Toronto, Ignatieff pursued further studies at Oxford and Harvard. He returns to teach for two years at the University of British Columbia, then spends six years at Cambridge. He later teaches at Oxford, the University of London, the London School of Economics, the University of California and l’École des Hautes Études in Paris. He later works as a television host for the BBC and a columnist for The Observer.

He writes 16 books, including a biography of Isaiah Berlin, a study of prisons during the industrial revolution, a consideration of political philosophy and humanity, and a history of his father’s family. In a series of books—Blood and Belonging, Warrior’s Honour, Virtual War and Empire Lite—he studies issues of nationalism, military intervention and nation-building. In the process he travels to various countries and war zones. He co-writes an essay and co-edits a collection of essays with Hungarian economist Istvan Hont. He writes three works of fiction, two books on human rights and one—The Lesser Evil—about how the Western world can and should confront international terrorism.

In 2001, he serves as a Canadian commissioner to the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. He returns to Canada periodically to teach or lecture. He returns to Harvard as director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and becomes a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine. He addresses the Liberal convention in March 2005 and returns later that year to seek office in Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

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