Critics’ Reviews

“There has never been a trial quite like the Polygamy Reference. As Jones suggests, there may never be one like it again. I feel much the same way about this book. Hugely informative, sharply argued, warmly recalled, it is every bit as extraordinary as the trial it recounts.”
Andrew Coyne (from the Foreword)
“In this highly readable book, Craig Jones provides an insider’s view of the constitutional reference case on Canada’s polygamy law. He captures what those of us who followed the trial saw — this wasn’t really a battle between progressives and conservatives, or even between secular advocates of women’s and children’s rights and religious fundamentalists; at least in the courtroom, the struggle over whether polygamy should be decriminalized or even legalized was a struggle among feminists, civil libertarians, legal academics, and progressives, who in different contexts and in earlier years had all cleaved to the notion that the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. But in this case, it does.”
Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun columnist and author of The Secret Lives of Saints
“A Cruel Arithmetic describes this major Canadian constitutional argument in more detail than I’ve seen in any other book. The duelling lawyers and their personalities, the clashes within the civil service, the preparation and cross-examination of witnesses — it’s all here. And it is absolutely riveting, especially when Jones describes the dismantling of dubious “expert” witnesses trying to make the case that polygamy is not so harmful. I’d go so far as to say every law student should read it, and many practising lawyers could learn a lot from it, too. I certainly did.”
Damian J. Penny, Canadian Lawyer, January 21, 2013
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