‘Dignity, Democracy, Development: A Citizen’s Reader’

SYDNEY: With his latest book — Dignity, Democracy, Development: A Citizen’s Reader— Dr. Tom Urbaniak takes his university classroom into the community and to the Cape Breton public.

Urbaniak offers 61 challenging, readable, inspiring short essays. His practical insights invite fellow citizens to be part of the change they want, in their own community and in the world.

Urbaniak keeps a watchful eye on local and global events, and has a deep concern for the public good. With each chapter of Dignity, Democracy, Development, he opens the door to a fresh idea and examples of success. He constructively highlights things that have not gone so well. His writing, like his work, is marked by compassion and civility.

The political science professor at Cape Breton University is well-known for his newspaper columns, his service projects in Cape Breton, and his leadership in the non-profit sector locally and nationally. But the newspaper articles do not always last, and few readers get to go back to see the unfolding of Urbaniak’s interests and concerns over the years. Dignity, Democracy, Development brings together some of the best of Urbaniak’s articles in a lasting book—and adds to them, chapter-by-chapter, questions he would put to his class, plus suggested further readings. Although it can be usefully read anywhere, this book has special value for those who care about Cape Breton Island.

This is Urbaniak’s fifth book. Previous books include Action, Accommodation, Accountability: Rules of Order for Canadian Organizations and Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga.

“I was honoured to win the tender to publish this book,” publisher Ronald Caplan said. “I recognized it as a book about and for Cape Bretoners—so I put forward the idea that it should be more than a classroom text. I am grateful that Tom accepted the possibilities and that he worked closely with Breton Books to turn a student book into a book for everybody, young and old.”

Everyone is invited to join Tom Urbaniak for an extraordinary book launch at the Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University on Thursday, February 15, from 2:30-4 p.m. Urbaniak plans to turn the afternoon into an open classroom in the tradition of study clubs once held by the Antigonish Movement in its devotion to co-operation.

There is no charge for the book launch party for Dignity, Democracy, Development: A Citizen’s Reader. It is a rare book launch with audience participation. There will be food and refreshments. And everyone is invited.

The cost of the book is $19.95, and all royalties go back to the CBU Tompkins Institute to support community service learning projects.