Fraser, Matthew 1958–

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Fraser, Matthew 1958–

PERSONAL: Born 1958. Education: Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Office—CanWest Global Communications Corp., 3100 CanWest Global Pl., 201 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3L7, Canada.

CAREER: Journalist, educator, and author. Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, professor; National Post, Toronto, editor-in-chief, 2003–5; CanWest Global Communications Corp., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, vice president, 2005–.

WRITINGS:

Quebec Inc.: French-Canadian Entrepreneurs and the Business Elite, Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1987.

Free-for-all: The Struggle for Dominance on the Digital Frontier, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

Weapons of Mass Distraction: Soft Power and American Empire, Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Canadian author Matthew Fraser has worked in a number of roles over the course of his career, including serving as editor-in-chief of the Canadian newspaper National Post and serving as a vice president for media conglomerate CanWest Global Communications Corporation. Fraser also worked as a professor of communications at Ryerson Polytechnic University and served as a faculty member in the York-Ryerson Joint Programme in Communication and Culture. He is the author of several books, including Quebec Inc.: French-Canadian Entrepreneurs and the Business Elite and Free-for-all: The Struggle for Dominance on the Digital Frontier.

In 2003 Fraser published Weapons of Mass Distraction: Soft Power and American Empire. In the book the author discusses the influence—or "soft power"—American exported pop culture has had over other countries. Fraser uses examples involving the country's entertainment, beverage, and fast-food industries to illustrate both positive and negative outcomes on the cultures in question.

Overall, critics and readers reacted positively to Weapons of Mass Distraction, and many found Fraser's arguments to be fair and balanced. "He handles himself in an evenhanded, even-tempered manner. Consider it food for thought," commented Booklist contributor David Pitt. Others enjoyed Fraser's use of a wide variety of information to tell his story. "The historical and anecdotal information offers an intriguing look at the wide influence of American popular culture," wrote Jill Ortner in a review for Library Journal.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2005, David Pitt, review of Weapons of Mass Distraction: Soft Power and American Empire, p. 921.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of Weapons of Mass Distraction, p. 1180.

Library Journal, February 1, 2005, Jill Ortner, review of Weapons of Mass Distraction, p. 101.

ONLINE

CEP Media Web site, http://www.cepmedia.ca/ (September 18, 2005), "Kelly New Editor-in-Chief of National Post."

Ryerson Polytechnic University Web site, http://www.ryerson.ca/ (September 18, 2005), professional information about Matthew Fraser.

Ryerson Review of Journalism Online, http://www.rrj.ca/ (September 18, 2005), Adrienne Macintosh, "Which Way Did He Go?"