Something happened when Michael Ignatieff left his position at Harvard in 2005, and returned home to face the floodlights of the political arena in Canada. By the time he won his first seat in the Federal Election in January 2006, and then announced his bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada in April, the writer added the cloak of a politician to his existing wardrobe of public identities. Drawing on an analysis of his published work, speeches and appearances in print-media, this study follows his entrance into politics and charts how his discursive strategies changed in the course of his encounter with power. The first half of the book elaborates an interpretive framework based on insights from theories on the fraught relationship between politics and intellect. Four ideal-typical orientations to public life are offered for comparison, which are then applied in the second half of the book as a heuristic for understanding Ignatieff''s rhetoric. Both the theoretical frame and the analysis should interest students of politics, communication, intellectual history and the sociology of knowledge, or anyone wanting to know more about this controversial public figure.