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Winner of the Writer's Trust of Canada / Samara's - Best Canadian Political Book of the Last 25 Years Part memoir, part investigative journalism, this is a shocking and controversial look at the corruption of Canada s human rights commissions. On January 11, 2008, I was summoned to a 90-minute government interrogation. My crime? As the publisher of Western Standard magazine, I had reprinted the Danish cartoons of Mohammed to illustrate a news story. I was charged with the offence of discrimination, and made to appear before Alberta s human rights commission for questioning. As crazy as it sounds, I became the only person in the world to face legal sanction for printing those cartoons. As a result of this highly publicized event, Ezra Levant began investigating other instances in which innocent people have had their freedoms compromised by bureaucrats presuming to protect Canadians human rights. He discovered some disturbing and even bizarre cases, such as the tribunal ruling that an employee at a McDonald s restaurant in Vancouver did not have to wash her hands at work. And the human rights complaint filed by a Calgary hair stylist against the women at a salon school who called him a loser. In another case that seemed stranger than fiction, an emotionally unstable transvestite fought for and won the right to counsel female rape victims, despite the anguished pleas of those same traumatized victims. Human rights commissions now monitor political opinions, fine people for expressing politically incorrect viewpoints, censor websites, and even ban people, permanently, from saying certain things. The book is a result of Levant s ordeal and the research it inspired. It shows how our concept of human rights has morphed into something dangerous and drastically different from its original meaning. Shakedown is a convincing plea to Canadians to reclaim their basic liberties. From the Hardcover edition."
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About the Author

Ezra Levant is a lawyer, journalist and political activist. As the publisher of the Western Standard magazine, he was charged by the Government of Alberta for publishing the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. He is a frequent radio talk show guest known for his plain-spoken opinions, and he has written columns for media as diverse as the Calgary Sun and Canadian Lawyer. He has also written three non-fiction books: Youthquake, Fight Kyoto, and The War on Fun. He lives in Calgary. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

"I was at a low moment, and beginning to fear that our adversarial culture was dying and the open society was losing its will to resist, when Ezra Levant showed that every citizen has the birthright of a little spark, and a grown-up duty to kindle that spark into a flame. Let the bureaucrats dotheir worst: the tongue and the word are chainless and nothing is sacred except this freedom above all." Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great If we're not careful, if we force the Ezras in this country to shut up, our freedom of speech could be next. Rick Mercer, in a rant from the Rick Mercer Report We are not yet three months into 2009, but Ezra may well have written the most important public affairs book this year. The National Post I read Shakedown and I am awed at Levant's persistence and powers of endurance. Rex Murphy, in the Globe & Mail Why is Ezra Levant the flavour of the month? Dare I say because he deserves to be? Metro Vancouver eloquent and powerful London Free Press puts everything on the line in the way the best Canadian journalists always did. Ottawa Citizen Let me put in a plug for Levant s new book, Shakedown, which lays out, in example after example, how government-appointed human rights bodies warped the noble mission for which they were created. The Halifax Chronicle Herald ...By the end of Levant s book, readers will be left wondering whether it is enough to prune back the commissions, or, as he prefers, to weed them out altogether. Macleans From the Hardcover edition."

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