Jack Layton: Arts in Action
By Penn Kemp
This is a wonderful book about Jack Layton and what made the man. Ever since Jack Layton passed away in August 2011, I’ve read as much as I can about this wonderful man! I still miss him because he did so much for everyone. Jack touch communities right across Canada.
In this book Penn Kemp gathers stories of encounters with Jack in the arts and cultures that intrigued him. Most of the stories are from ordinary Canadians who Jack reached, sometimes just with a kind word or small compassionate gesture or through media coverage. From a very early age, he was a proponent of social justice and human rights.
Jack lived proactively. He always told people to persevere in Love, Hope and Optimism. And that is precisely what he did until his last day here on earth.
Jack was born and raised in Quebec, and was the oldest of a prominent political family. His great-grandfather was blind, and founded the Montreal Association for the Blind in 1908. Robert Layton, Jack’s father, was first a Liberal and then a Progressive Conservative in Brian Mulroney’s Cabinet. After getting his Ph.D. from York, Jack taught political science at Ryerson University. The 1990s were difficult for Jack. In 1991, he lost the race to be mayor of Toronto. In 2003, he was elected leader of the federal NDP, supported by Ed Broadbent. In 2004, Jack served as MP for Toronto-Danforth, a position which he maintained until he passed away.
Jack still lives on with us and in us. His art always expressed itself in actions. Jack advocated many ethical principles. Some of these are: the art of encouraging, enthusing and enlisting others, the art of actual listening (he was a GREAT listener), the art of balance, the art of love, the art of respect, and the art of appreciating, just to name a few.
This is a GREAT book for all individuals who loved Jack Layton and who knew a lot about him and want to know more. He was a most interesting man! What an example of courage, perseverance, love and hope!
Rating: 5+ Stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth