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Biography & Autobiography Political

Love, Hope, Optimism

An informal portrait of Jack Layton by those who knew him

by (author) James L. Turk

edited by Charis Wahl

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price

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An Ottawa Citizen Notable Book for 2012

When Jack Layton died unexpectedly in the summer of 2011, millions of people mourned the loss of a man who had emerged as a much-loved political leader. They saw him as someone who combined values they shared with a personal style they admired.

In this book, co-editors James L. Turk and Charis Wahl have gathered stories and anecdotes about Jack Layton from a wide range of people who knew him at different stages during his life and career. These contributions offer an engaging and informal biographical portrait of Jack as a young man in Hudson, Quebec, as a lecturer at Ryerson University, as a Toronto city councillor, and as the leader of the NDP.

The contributors include family and friends, colleagues, politicians, and constituents. Among them are Ed Broadbent, Sarah Layton, Svend Robinson, Tim Flannery, Peggy Nash, Jean Charest, Brian Topp, Cathy Crowe, Libby Davies, Joe Mihevc, Brad Lavigne, Anne McGrath, Shawn Atleo, and Adam Vaughan.

With the blessing of Jack's family, James L. Turk and Charis Wahl have put together a portrait of Jack which is by turns warm and funny as well as honest and illuminating.


Royalties from the sale of this book will go to the Broadbent Institute.


About the authors

JAMES L. TURK is Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Formerly an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and Director of Education for the Ontario Federation of Labour, he is a frequent media contributor and has written many articles on education and labour in Canada.

James L. Turk's profile page

Charis Wahl is an author and editor of books for children and adults. She co-authored Doris McCarthy: My Life and co-edited Love, Hope, Optimism: An Informal Portrait of Jack Layton by Those Who Knew Him. Her next-door neighbor of thirty-five years inspired her to write Rosario’s Fig Tree. She lives in downtown Toronto.

Charis Wahl's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A Hill Times Top 100 Book for 2012

"Much has been written about this beloved political leader but this compilations personal take makes it stand apart."

Zoomer Media

The best of this collection of remembrances offers specific stories...Jacks willingness to laugh with a political opponent; his matchmaking efforts; and his skills as an auctioneer.

More Magazine

Other titles by James L. Turk

Other titles by Charis Wahl