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After a talk I gave this week on my book at the Toronto Cricket Club, there was a lively discussion about the current state of politics and news. Admittedly, this was a group composed mainly of people of a certain age who had observed many of the events in the lives of our later prime ministers. But the questions and comments evinced a deep concern about the future of “honest” news, the indications that fewer young people seem to be reading newspapers — and the profound effect Donald Trump is having on civil society. These same issues were subjects in book talks I did late last year in several cities from Vancouver to Montreal. On interview shows in several cities, hosts wanted to discuss Trump and “fake news”, although that is not a prime focus of Power, Prime Ministers and the Press (Dundurn).

Book publisher Margie Wolfe of innovative Second Story Press has detected a similar phenomenon in sales patterns of books for young people, a specialty of her house. She recently told the online magazine Publishing Perspectives:The ‘Trump bump’ is because there’s a recognition among educators and librarians and parents that you need to have content that deals with the world around us in a way that’s interesting for the children and doesn’t frighten them, a way that enlightens without being scary.” The Trump Bump — what a price to pay.

Pages books, Calgary: a lively discussion

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Robert Lewis

Twelve years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, former Editor-in-Chief at Maclean's, Toronto resident since 1982.


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