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Ignatieff: an intellectual in politics

Michael Ignatieff, the telegenic intellectual and writer, has had three separate careers in three different countries. Now the former presenter of the Late Show is tipped to become the next prime minister of Canada

By David Herman   March 2009

From the Prospect archive: read all of Michael Ignatieff’s past Prospect articles, now available for free online.

When Michael Ignatieff left Britain in 2000 for a new career across the Atlantic, he sent a farewell poem to his friends. The poem, by one of his heroes, Czeslaw Milosz, ended: “Time for me to play hooky. Buona notte. Ciao. Farewell.” Of course, Ignatieff wasn’t off to play hooky. He was starting a new phase of his career: high-flying academic at Harvard and then leading Canadian politician, possibly future prime minister. And he wasn’t just saying farewell to his friends. He…

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