His drug and alcohol-fuelled antics made world headlines and engulfed a city in unprecedented controversy. Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s personal and political troubles have occupied centre stage in North America’s fourth-largest city since news broke that drug dealers were selling a videotape of Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine. Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle was one of three journalists to view the video and report on its contents in May 2013. Her dogged pursuit of the story has uncovered disturbing details about the mayor’s past, and embroiled the Toronto police, city councillors, and ordinary citizens in a raucous debate about the future of the city. Even before those explosive events, Ford was a divisive figure. A populist and successful city councillor, he was an underdog to become mayor in 2010. His politics and mercurial nature have split the amalgamated city in two. But there is far more to the story. The Ford family has a long, unhappy history of substance abuse and criminal behaviour. Despite their troubles, they are also one of the most ambitious families in Canada. Those close to the Fords say they often compare themselves to the Kennedys and believe they were born to lead. Doolittle says that regardless of whether the mayor survives the current crack-cocaine scandal, the Ford name will be on the ballot in the mayoralty election in 2014. Fast paced and insightful, Crazy Town is a page-turning portrait of a troubled man, a formidable family, and a city caught in an astonishing scandal.
Shocking new revelations about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, his family and associates by the Toronto Star reporter who has closely covered Ford’s career. Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, by Robyn Doolittle, will chronicle Ford’s ascent from a flamboyant city councillor to a mayor embroiled in controversy.
Visit Robin’s website for more Crazy Town
“Doolittle is the Toronto Star staffer best known for chasing a surreptitiously recorded video of the mayor smoking crack, and her exhaustive reporting has regularly thrown light on the darkest parts of Ford’s life, work she continues in her new book, Crazy Town… the book’s part biography, part journalism-school case study, and it unfolds in chronological order as often as it does epistemological: what Doolittle knew, when and how she knew it—and then, what she knew next… It’s all as crazy as advertised.”
“If you liked All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, you’ll love Crazy Town by Robyn Doolittle.”
– The Next Chapter, CBC Radio
“Dramatic . . . compelling.”
– Toronto Life
“Crazy Town is a fascinating read, offering an analysis of how someone like Ford could get elected and retain public favour. It’s also an apologia for how journalists today do their work . . . an extremely useful read.”
– The Waterloo Region Record
“Robyn Doolittle’s Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story is one of the most hotly anticipated books of the winter, not just in Toronto but in the rest of Canada and beyond… The attention is richly deserved: Doolittle, who has been covering the Ford saga for the Toronto Star since its earliest stages (she was one of the journalists to view the infamous “crack tape” before it was offered up on Gawker) has produced, in Crazy Town, not only an account of Mayor Ford’s rise and fall, but a rich contextualization of the municipal and provincial forces which conspired to assist his assent. It’s a useful primer on contemporary Toronto culture and politics, served up with all the verve one would expect of a working journalist.”
– Zoomer Magazine
Former SNL head writer turned late-night talk show host Seth Meyers sat down with author Robyn Doolittle to talk about her new book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story. WIRED called it one of the “10 Best Moments From Seth Meyers’ First Week on Late Night.” Here’s a link to the extended interview and the full show.
Jon Stewart’s extended interview with Robyn Doolittle about her new book Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story. The pair talk access to information laws, political dynasties and Justin Bieber.
Crack Reporter: The Scoop on Rob Ford From Robyn Doolittle
Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle became famous overnight for spearheading the investigation into Mayor Rob Ford’s crack cocaine use. Flare Magazine‘s Rebecca Godfrey gets an exclusive early peek at her new book, Crazy Town, which details Ford’s rise and wacky reign—and the extraordinary day-to-day of the journalist who fearlessly took on city hall’s mad king.
Robyn Doolittle On George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: INTERVIEW
In her reporting for the Toronto Star, Robyn Doolittle helped break the story of the video that allegedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. She joined George to talk about her new book about Ford, Crazy Town. Doolittle spoke about the line between what the public does and doesn’t have a right to know when it comes to politicians behaving badly.
Penguin Canada, English language rights, February 3, 2014
Film rights: Blue Ice Pictures
Shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writers Prize
A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year 2014
Maclean’s names Crazy Town one of the “best reads of 2014”