Railway King of Canada: Sir William MacKenzie, 1849-1923
During the first two decades of this century, Sir William Mackenzie wasone of Canada's best known entrepreneurs. He Spearheading some ofthe largest and most technologically advanced projects undertaken inCanada, he built a business empire that stretched from Montreal toBritish Columbia and to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Itincluded gas, electric, telephone and transit utilities, railroads,hotels, and steamships as well as substantial coal mining, whaling, andtimber interests. But when he died in 1923, his estate was virtuallybankrupt as a result of the dramatic collapse of his Canadian NorthernRailway during the First World War. In a business biography intended asmuch for general readers as for a scholarly audience, Fleming offers arevisionist perspective on Mackenzie. He dispels the simplisticapproach of those historians and journalists who have depictedMackenzie and his partner Sir Donald Mann as melodramatic crooks whocould have stepped out of the pages of Huckleberry Finn.
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