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For every politician seeking election this season, I recommend Gabor Maté’s book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (Toronto: Knopf, 2008). It offers a compassionate view of troubles affecting the core areas of North America’s major cities.

Maté is a doctor in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, a community of concentrated poverty and drug addiction, sometimes described as Canada’s poorest postal code, and this book, like the doctor himself, does good work. Read the rest of this entry »