(ANNews) – Jeremy Appel, an independent journalist, published his first book, Kenneyism: Jason Kenney’s Pursuit of Power, on February 6th, 2024. He resides in Edmonton and has written articles and commentary for many different news outlets across Alberta, including Alberta Native News, CBC News, the National Observer, Jacobin, Ricochet, The Breach, The Maple, and the Canadian Jewish News, among other places. He also writes The Orchard Newsletter on Substack. Appel focuses on Indigenous and climate issues, labour relations, and corporate power, but his keen interest in Canadian politics led him to publish his first book – a deep dive into the political life of former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Appel’s debut title chronicles Kenney’s political journey, from his passionate anti-abortion activism to his 2019-2022 stint as Alberta’s premier. It presents a cautionary tale of the danger of right-wing populism but specifically follows Kenney’s insistent pursuit of pushing his moralistic worldview into Canadian politics, ultimately creating a butterfly effect that went out of control.

The book extends beyond the genre of political biography, offering a comprehensive examination of the populist far-right movements that have shaped Canadian politics for decades. Through Appel’s lens, Jason Kenney emerges as a central figure in this narrative, leaving an unpleasant mark on the political landscape of Alberta.

From his days as a University of San Francisco activist to his influential roles within the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the Harper government, Appel insists that Kenney successfully manipulated the political landscape, shifting the political discourse to the right. However, as Appel identifies, Kenney’s relentless quest for populist appeal and respectability proved unsustainable.

Through many well-written chapters, Appel attempts to expose the horrors and cruelties created by Kenney’s policies, from separating AIDS patients from their loved ones to failing to protect essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With each chapter, Appel attempts to uncover the root of Kenney’s political ambitions, revealing a man driven by self-centeredness and a distorted vision of politics.

While Kenney’s downfall may not be deemed tragic to some, Appel suggests that the aftermath will be felt for generations. The narrative is backed by endorsements from esteemed figures like Trevor Harrison and Lisa Young, who commend the book for its thoughtful analysis and informative portrayal of Kenney’s tenure.

Kenneyism not only documents Jason Kenney’s rise and fall but also reflects on the resurgence of right-wing populism in Canada. With diligent research, Appel navigates the path of political support surrounding Kenney, bringing attention to the broader implications of his influence on Canadian politics.

After a month since being published, this book has garnered mixed reviews. This makes sense as it takes a firm stance as an anti-Kenney and left-leaning biography. People who voted for or still support any part of Kenney’s impact on Alberta’s politics may find the narrative hard to get through. Those who despised Kenney’s political tenure should thoroughly enjoy the book. Whether you like Kenney or not, this well-thought-out documentation of Kenney’s term is an essential read and the first step in the right direction towards examining Canadian politics over the past half-decade.

By Matthew Levine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 31, 2024 at 13:15

This item reprinted with permission from   Alberta Native News   Edmonton, Alberta
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