There has never been a book about Stephen Harper, yet on June 28 he came close to being our prime minister. If Paul Martin miscalculates, Stephen Harper could be our next prime minister in months, not years. Who is this man? Everyone knows that he became leader of the Alliance Party and, against all odds, gathered in the old Conservative Party to create a force designed to win power, coming very close in 2004. Yet what are his core beliefs? To what extent does he agree with his party's social conservatives, who scared away voters in the last election? Where will he take us if he gets power? William Johnson has researched the Harper family background and the historical context that shaped his political career. He paints a fascinating picture of a man who, like Pierre Trudeau, trained mentally for political power like an athlete training for the Olympics, yet is not a natural politician and never really wanted the political leader's life. By studying Harper's approach to the main issues in Canadian politics, he shows that Harper is a sophisticated political operative, far more complex and intellectual than the right-wing Republican image that has been created for him. This is a serious, objective political biography, short on gossip but long on clear discussion of Harper's political views -- and how he got them. Johnson's message? Don't underestimate this man. From the Hardcover edition.