'The Only Average Guy': New book sheds fresh light on ex-Toronto mayor Rob Ford
Rob Ford attends an event at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday, July 30, 2012. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Published Monday, September 28, 2015 11:21AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 28, 2015 11:54AM EDT
A new book is promising to shine a fresh light on former Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his astonishing rise to power.
Ford, who made international headlines during his tenure as mayor from 2010 to 2014, is the subject of the book, "The Only Average Guy: Inside the Uncommon World of Rob Ford."
Written by longtime Toronto city councillor, John Filion, the book includes insights gained from more than 100 interviews with 77 different people, publisher Random House Canada said in a statement.
Filion, who is a former journalist, sat just two seats away from the mayor during the four years Ford was mayor.
Based on his experience, Filion’s narrative seeks to help readers understand what drives Ford, as well as what drives voters to support him.
"Filion formed an unlikely camaraderie that allowed him to look beyond Ford's persona, seeing a boy still longing for the approval of his father and struggling with the impossible expectations of a family that imagined itself a political dynasty," the publisher said in news release announcing the book.
"At a time when angry voters are increasingly attracted to outspoken candidates flaunting outrageous flaws, Filion illuminates how Ford’s tragic weaknesses helped propel him to power and draw hundreds of thousands of voters to treat him as a conquering hero."
Ford became the subject of media scrutiny after Gawker and The Toronto Star published reports in May 2013 that their reporters had seen a video of the then-mayor appearing to smoke crack cocaine. In November of that year, after months of denying the allegations, Ford admitted that he had smoked crack cocaine, but said he was not an addict.
In January 2014, Ford registered to run for re-election as mayor. In May, he entered rehab, and at the end of June 2014 he apologized to Toronto residents and acknowledged he had a substance abuse problem.
He withdrew from the mayoral race in September, 2014, after he was diagnosed with an abdominal tumour. His brother, Doug Ford, registered to run in his place, eventually coming in second place, ahead of former city councillor and NDP MP Olivia Chow.
Ford currently serves as councillor for the Etobicoke North Ward.
Both of the Ford brothers portray themselves as hardworking politicians who rail against high taxes and government misspending and waste, which the former mayor popularly dubbed the "gravy train."
"The Only Average Guy" hits shelves on Oct. 27.