Do you think Ignatieff can lead the Liberals to power?
I don't think there is any doubt. Ignatieff is better educated, better equipped, and better suited for Canadian federal politics than anyone on the federal scene. Here are some of his credentials:
Photo: © Sheppard Ferguson
Michael Ignatieff was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 12 May 1947, the son of a Russian émigré father and a Canadian mother. He read History at the University of Toronto and gained a doctorate at Harvard University. He is a former Senior Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge, and has held teaching posts at Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, the University of California, the University of London and the London School of Economics.
A regular broadcaster and critic on television and radio, Michael Ignatieff has hosted many programmes including Channel 4's Voices
, the BBC's arts programme The Late Show
, and the award-winning series Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism
, first screened by the BBC in 1993, examining the issue of nationalism in the late twentieth century. His first book, A Just Measure of Pain: Penitentiaries in the Industrial Revolution, 1780-1850
, a study of the English penal system, was published in 1978. The Russian Album
(1987) is a memoir of his family's experience in nineteenth-century Russia and its subsequent exile to Europe and, eventually, Canada. It won the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction (Canada) and the Heinemann Award. His first novel, Asya
, a love story about a Russian living in Paris and London during World War II, was published in 1991, and was followed by Scar Tissue
(1993), a powerful examination of love and the acceptance of loss, which was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread Novel Award.
His acclaimed biography of Isaiah Berlin, the result of ten years' research, was published in 1998. It was shortlisted for both the Jewish Quarterly
Literary Prize for Non-Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction). The Warrior's Honour: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience
is an examination of modern warfare and its complex moral implications, and Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond
(2000), which won the George Orwell Prize, is a study of the NATO bombing of Kosovo, and Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry
(2001) is an account of the successes, failures and prospects of advances in human rights. His most recent book on ethnic war and intervention, Empire Lite: Nation Building in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan
, was published in 2003. Charlie Johnson in the Flames: A Novel
, the story of a veteran war correspondent whose rash expedition into the war-torn Balkans has life-changing consequences, was published in the same year. The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror
was published in 2004.
Michael Ignatieff is also the author of a television play, Dialogue in the Dark
, an exchange between the dying philosopher David Hume and the writer James Boswell, based on Boswell's diary and Ignatieff's own book The Needs of Strangers
(1984). It was directed by Jonathan Miller for BBC Television in 1989.
Michael Ignatieff is the Carr Professor and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.