04 September 2013

Harper Hockey Book Watch: Year Ten, Day 77

Oh, we of little faith!

Just as belief had begun to wain, joyous news comes from the East that the prime minister's hockey book is soon to be upon us.

I confess to falling into doubt. In my defence, the prime minister has been promising his hockey book for the better part of the millennium, going so far as to tease Jane Taber and Tonda McCharles about a 2012 publication date. I questioned the book's coming not two months ago, noting that it was not listed in the Fall Preview issue of Quill & Quire. I wondered why it was not included in Simon & Schuster's Fall Catalogue, and disgraced myself further by pointing out that neither book nor author were mentioned on the publisher's website.

Okay, so there's still nothing on the Simon & Schuster website, but this cover has been released to the media:

While cover image may not be familiar to Stephen Harper's fellows in the Society for International Hockey Research – BUY YOUR MEMBERSHIP HERE FOR THIRTY DOLLARS! ANYONE CAN JOIN! – hockey historians will recognize the Toronto Blueshirts ("Blue Shirts" in the Simon & Schuster press release). Colourized here most garishly (in the tradition of Turner Classic Movies), supporting members have been removed (in the tradition of Joseph Stalin).

The nonbelievers will weigh in, but I'm grateful.

I give thanks to Simon & Schuster for signing our prime minister.

I give thanks to the Harper Government™ for subsequently deciding to allow Simon & Schuster to publish Canadian authors.

I give thanks to Greg Stoicoiu and George Pepki.

But most of all, I thank Roy MacGregor for his dedication in bringing Stephen Harper's hockey book to print. We may never know Mr MacGregor's contribution. Steven Chase, his Globe and Mail colleague, tells us that he provided the prime minister "editorial services". Tristan Hopper of the National Post writes that "the final book was smoothed out with the help of both a full-time researcher and hockey author Roy McGregor [sic]". Mr MacGregor is a modest man.

The publication date of A Great Game is fortuitous in that it fairly coincides with the end of the Conservative Party's upcoming Calgary convention.

How many copies will the party purchase?

Enough to guarantee top spot on the Maclean's bestseller list is my guess.

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