• By: Keith Whittier

Building the Orange Wave: The Inside Story Behind the Historic Rise of Jack Layton and the NDP (Douglas & McIntyre)

Building the Orange Wave is a true insider’s account of Jack Layton and the NDP’s rise to success.  Brad Lavigne was not just the campaign manager of the New Democratic Party’s 2011 breakthrough election campaign that took Jack Layton from last place to Official Opposition – he was a key architect throughout the decade leading to Layton’s ultimate success.

This is the definitive account of Layton’s ascendency to Leader of the Official Opposition and the realignment in Canadian politics. Lavigne was the only one with Layton every step of the way – from helping get him elected party leader in 2002 to serving as an honorary pallbearer at his state funeral in 2011. Lavigne recounts the dramatic story of how Layton and his inner circle developed and executed a plan that turned a struggling political party into a major contender for government, defying the odds and the critics every step of the way. This is the ultimate insider’s account of a political upheaval that took everyone by surprise that saw the NDP make huge gains in Quebec.

With Jack Layton’s widow Olivia Chow providing an introduction, Lavigne had access to other key players, including Layton’s son Mike, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent, former campaign manager Brian Topp, Tim Murphy (Paul Martin’s former chief of staff), and Stephen Harper’s former Director of Communications Kory Teneycke. Lavigne reveals details about how Layton’s team managed some of their biggest crises: Layton’s political missteps, embarrassing candidates, the cancer diagnoses, and the massage parlour bombshell on the eve of the 2011 vote.

Lavigne will also cast ahead to the 2015 federal election and beyond to map out the meaning of Layton’s legacy and provide a blueprint for how to entrench the gains of Jack’s Orange Crush. 

Jack Layton’s political and personal legacy continues to resonate with Canadians of different political stripes.  Beyond Canadian political observers and students of political science, this book will speak to a wide audience who want to know what goes on behind political closed doors.

Building the Orange Wave will be in bookstores on November 2.