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Common Ground

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,411 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Justin Trudeau's memoir describes the experiences that have shaped him over the course of his life, covering the years from his childhood at 24 Sussex to his role as Liberal leader today.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Harper Collins (first published October 1st 2014)
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For the past 20 years I have been a Conservative, based mostly on my fiscal views, but I never felt completely right about it, based on my social views. In reading Common Ground I finally realized something very important that had been eluding me. I'm not a Conservative... I'm a Canadian. Justin Trudeau managed to establish exactly what his book promised, common ground. From his stance on freedom and rights, the disparity between the economic classes, community service, youth and unity, we have ...more
Rebecca McNutt
I'm a little odd when it comes to politics. Unlike many Canadians, I'm not strictly liberal, or conservative for that matter... I'm definitely fiscally conservative and socially moderate, totally a die-hard capitalist who only likes small aspects of socialism to the minimum, with maybe a dash of libertarian thrown in somewhere, but even back in 2015, in my very last year of high school when the election for our new Prime Minister took place, I didn't trust or like Trudeau (I know, I know my ...more
Full disclosure: I like Justin Trudeau. I want him to be my Prime Minister. I knew that before picking up this book -- and that's why I picked up this book in the first place.

So, basically, I may be biased when I say that this is an amazing, thoughtful, and inspiring portrait of Justin Trudeau.

From his childhood to his current leadership position, he discusses the people and experiences that have helped shape him into the person he is today. With his anecdotes and conversational writing style,
Daniel Kukwa
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's not the deepest book, but microscopic depth isn't the point of this volume. The big end-of-career memoir will come when it comes...this book has a different agenda. It's out to introduce a new face, a new approach, a new point-of-view...but one grounded in the influences of the past. It's an easy read, easily understood, and very clear as to how one man sees his role in the future. As a life-long Liberal, I'm more than a little biased on this matter...but this was a refreshing look at ...more
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it

I am neither a Liberal voter nor a Liberal supporter but I am impressed with Justin Trudeau.

The underlying theme of this book is that Canadians and our representing politicians need to find some common ground. Instead of letting our differences define our interaction we need to find those issues that we agree on and then work together to build ourselves and our country to its full potential.

I found myself nodding and saying "yeah, you're right" throughout a lot of this book. Things that he deems
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
For Canada Day I picked up Common Ground by Justin Trudeau. I have been a huge supporter of his since the beginning, and reading this only cemented my admiration for him. The book starts with recalling his childhood and early adult life and how the family he grew up in shaped his values. The second part of the book looks at how those values have defined him as a politician and his internal struggles with deciding to go into politics. I realize this book was written before his run for Prime ...more
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Further proof that values embodied by parents find a fertile ground to grow in children, Justin Trudeau has built a set of life goals that echo his parents' values that is all his own!

Jacob Kojfman
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Honest and simply put, Trudeau gives his readers insights into the events of his life that have helped shape him to be the person and politician he is today. This is not a memoir in the traditional sense; I do look forward to reading his eventual memoirs.

For someone who has grown up in the public eye, Trudeau comes off as well-grounded and relatable to the average Canadian, traits that will serve him well on the campaign trail and in office. He presents his life as influenced by his parents, his
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very well written- both as a political book and as a memoir. I believe it delivers a nice mix of his life and his political thoughts, which should be expected given Justin Trudeau is a politician. Furthermore, he lived quite the interesting life, and as a reader was constantly intrigued by what I was reading. Whether you're liberal or other, this could still very well be a great read.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was hoping he would talk about his family life. Instead it was a long boring sales pitch for why he should be prime minister. What a waste of my time.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, non-fiction
If I didn't love Justin before I sure love him now. Even if one is not into politics this book was written in a way that you didn't get confused about what was going on, while giving the reader and good idea of how Justin plans to change this country. I still firmly believe that Justin is what this country needs. If you're iffy on whether Justin will do well for this country you definitely need to read this book.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyed reading about Justin Trudeau"s upbringing but not his repetitive and simplistic pro Liberal propaganda especially towards the end of the book.
Robert Collette
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing becomes clear when reading this autobiography/manifesto. Consistency. Trudeau has been saying the same thing for years now, hammering on the same points from at least 2007 right up to the final days of the 2015 election and beyond. He has a traceable track record of standing up for the same ideals and ideas time and again and I found nothing in this book that would point to a change in those ideals any time soon. His "common ground" method of problem solving should appear unique to ...more
Sharon Mariampillai
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5

This was interesting. I just wanted to read something by a politician once, and now I have. I like learning about how growing up as the Canadian Prime Minister's son was like. It is also a great journey through his childhood to the present because he is Canada's new Prime Minister. It was cool to learn more about him and see the journey. Overall, a good read.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
JT & I have lived parallel lives for a long time. This book was like visiting with an old friend whom I have never met, and explains his brilliant approach to rebuilding the Liberal Party. If he is indeed successful, I believe he will go down in history for being an even better PM than his dad.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2017
The dawn of the Trump presidency is either the best or worst time to read this book. An easy read, as I share many of the opinions of the author. And he just seems so genuine and NICE. Can we merge America and Canada now?
Katie Meyer-Robinson
I thought this book was going to be more of an autobiography and less of a "these are all the reasons I'll make a good prime minister" kind of book. that being said, I did enjoy the book and I learned a lot along the way. I would recommend to those interested in Canadian politics.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
I don't have any public figures in my group of friends or family. So, reading biographies of important people naturally exposes me to stories about lives of people that I would otherwise never come across.

Honestly, I have started reading biographies only recently. When I was younger I used to think that simple reiteration of someone's life would be too boring to make it worthwhile reading. I would crave for mysteries, out of the world fiction books and such to fill up my reading time.

But, as we
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
I enjoyed the book. It gave nostalgic moments as I am a Pierre Trudeau fan and it gave an insight into Justin's core values. I buy into his vision for an inclusive Canada that builds on the "Common Ground" we share as people. I look forward to seeing his future, to see if he can lead Canada to a better future that continues to build on our strength as people that welcome and celebrate cultural diversity.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Reads like a long application essay: "Why You Should Make Me Your Leader". Well enough written, but not exactly a memoir, in my mind. I look forward to reading something he writes after he retires from political life, just to see the contrast with this work.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall a very interesting and enjoyable read. I must admit to liking the fact that he mentioned Ponoka, Alberta in some of his select speeches mainly because I was there when he spoke to the audience in that town. I liked reading about his childhood and what made him decide to run for leader.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Because one of my daughters has been going to school in Canada, I was aware that the Liberal party candidate, Justin Trudeau, had ousted the Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, in the Canadian election last October. His name was familiar to me because his father, Pierre Trudeau, was Prime Minister when I was a child. (My very first pen-pal lived in Montreal. My adventurous parents had loaded three kids into a station wagon, pulling a pop-up tent camper, and had driven from Kentucky to ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this after Justin Trudeau swept his way to an amazing victory in the 2015 election. At this beginning of this (LONG) campaign, I had given my vote to Tom Mulcair. But after watching each debate, and listening to these two men speak, I found myself shifting completely. Tom Mulcair seemed tired, old, out of touch with me. Justin Trudeau, I thought, became better and better in each debate, and his campaign of optimism and positivism completely won me over. I voted Liberal -- ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
All politicians are flawed, there's not one that's perfect. Let's face the truth there. However, there are politicians who do try to work toward unity and a improved life for the constituents they represent. Trudeau, I believe, is one of those politicians who genuinely wants to bring together his country and help those who find little representation in modern politics. In this book in which Trudeau writes about his life and eventual foray into politics, he offers his reasons for going into ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
In the end, it all comes down to this. Trudeau is a decent guy and he has remained decent all the while trying to establish his own personality heavily overshadowed by not only the fame of his father but the notorious marriage of his parents.
He might not be the most exciting big bang that has ever hit the universe but he is nice. In the present climate we could certainly do with more politicians - whose motto is 'Do No Harm' - like him.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting insight into the man who many of us hope will be our next Prime Minister!

Here are a couple of quotes from the book that resonated with me.

On Leadership:

No real leader can see the people around them as static creatures. If you cannot see the potential in the people around you, it’s impossible to rouse them to great things. That may be one of the reasons why, even now, I always make time for a novel or two every month, amongst the mountains of serious works and briefing notes.
Meghan Sutherland
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it
An accessible and earthy peek into the roots of our current Prime Minister's upbringing and rise under the Liberal Party. The memoir's constant motif of unity is much likened to Mr. Trudeau's campaign speeches, where the promotion of grassroots values (T)rumps elitism and xenophobia and instead, urges Canadians to meet in the middle: the eponymous 'Common Ground.'

Amongst much jargon, Trudeau states "Canadians will not suffer fools gladly," and this is true of foreign influence, of fellow voters
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in French to practice my second language and because I was interested in learning more about Justin Trudeau, and what he hoped to accomplish as a potential Prime Minister of Canada. Particularly, I really wanted to know why he entered politics after everything his family has been through. I also had an interest in learning more about Pierre Trudeau, having read the two-part Trudeau biography by John English. I thought this book was insightful and well written, sharing many of ...more
Jesyka Traynor
It didn't feel appropriate to rate an account of someone's life. Mr. Trudeau is a lovely writer, and a good storyteller (and they say an arts education is useless). There were moments when I really felt his humanity and I felt like I was sitting at a kitchen table with him while he told me about his life so far. There were also moments when I felt that I was listening to a campaign speech. I suppose a book written by a politician who, at the time, was vying for the Prime Ministership, could only ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biblio, lpc
Excellent campaign book. Justin Trudeau presents himself and explains why he is the suitable man for the job. Yet, if you're looking to examine his ideas and his plan in depth, this book is not what you should read; it'll only give you a simplistic gist of them. In fact, Justin only has general ideas, nothing specific, because, as he's written in his book, he's a pragmatist and he's leaving the party's platform for Canadians – meaning Liberal delegates – to decide. If the book gets him any more ...more
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What did you think of this book? 2 13 Aug 28, 2018 10:15PM  

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“My idea of freedom is that we should protect the rights of people to believe what their conscience dictates, but fight equally hard to protect people from having the beliefs of others imposed upon them.” 7 likes
“I would agree that encyclopedia’s could teach me facts, but only a great story could transport me into the mind of another person. These stories taught me about empathy, about good and evil, about love and sorrow. My tastes covered many different genres, but the books I loved most proposed the idea that ordinary people (not to mention hobbits) are born with the capability to do extraordinary, even heroic things. The realization came as a sort of code to all the lessons my parents had taught me about looking beyond wealth and appearances, and appreciating the worth of everyone I met.
It’s a lesson that sticks with me to this day. No real leader can see the people around them as static creatures. If you cannot see the potential I the people around you, it’s impossible to rouse them to great things. That may be one of the reasons why, even now, I always make time for a novel or two every month, amongst the mountains of serious works and briefing notes. Facts may fuel a leader’s intellect. But literature fuels the soul.”
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