The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister, Pages 181-195

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Random House of Canada, Limited, 2006 - Political Science - 480 pages
6 Reviews
The Secret Mulroney Tapesis an outrageous and intimate portrait of a Canadian prime minister, as told in his own words. There has never been a political book like this, and there will almost certainly never be another.

Peter C. Newman, the author of books about John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, as well as 2004’s number-one bestselling memoir,Here Be Dragons: Telling Tales of People, Passion and Power, has done it again. He has written twenty-two books that have sold two million copies, and earned him the title of Canada’s “most cussed and discussed” political commentator. Here, his no-holds-barred profile of Canada’s most controversial – and most reviled – prime minister breaks new ground.

Compiled from years of candid, taped conversations with Mulroney and the people closest to him while he was in power, the sometimes uproarious and often disturbing interviews – 7,400 pages of transcripts totalling 1.8 million words – have been sealed until now. Stunningly indiscreet and savagely frank, Mulroney is the first prime minister to be so nakedly outspoken. Yet he is also revealed as a witty Irish charmer, ready with a quick line to raise a laugh, no matter how impudent or profane, a man as warm in private as he was defensive in the public eye.

Mulroney names the names and spills the beans about what really goes on in Ottawa, which he describes as a “sick” city that runs on “goddamned incest”: “They’re all married to one another. They’re shacked up with one another. Their wives are on the payroll of the CBC. It’s just awful.” Lucien Bouchard, his one-time soulmate, he calls “bitter and profane” and “extraordinarily vain.” He writes off his constitutional foe, former Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells, as an “unprincipled son of a bitch.” His disgust for the press is as monumental as his sense of being misunderstood, and in his eyes the Ottawa press corps are “a phony bunch of bastards” who don’t give him credit even when the world applauds him for being “one of the three men who played the most important role in the collapse of the Berlin Wall.”

Out ofThe Secret Mulroney Tapesemerges a startling picture of the politician whose reign shocked and appalled and yet also revolutionized this country. No other prime minister in Canadian history aroused a stronger emotional response than Brian Mulroney. This book provides Canadians with a unique insight into the bold politician who changed their country like no other.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Review: The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister

User Review  - Adam DeVille, Ph.D. - Goodreads

A fast, amusing read that takes you back to the tedium of the 1980s and early 1990s when Mulroney was in power in Canada. Full of the bluster that made Canadians hate him, and a great deal of colourful language. Read full review

Review: The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister

User Review  - Alison - Goodreads

This was trashy and gossipy, but I oddly enjoyed it and it made me warm to Mulroney in a way I hadn't expected. Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Peter C. Newman has been writing about Canadian politics for nearly half a century, including books on prime ministers John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau. His Renegade in Power (1963) revolutionized Canadian political reporting with its controversial “insiders-tell-all” approach. Four decades later, Newman has done it again, with his ultimate insider book, The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister.

The author of twenty-two books that have sold two million copies, Newman has won a half dozen of the country’s most illustrious literary awards, including the Drainie-Taylor Biography prize for his 2004 memoir, Here Be Dragons: Telling Tales of People, Passion and Power. A former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean’s, Newman has been honoured with a National Newspaper Award, has been elected to the News Hall of Fame, and has earned the informal title of Canada’s “most cussed and discussed” political commentator.

His first-hand profile of Brian Mulroney is based on seventeen years of frank and intimate discussions with the country’s most controversial, and reviled, prime minister. Before they began, Mulroney told Newman he didn’t want a “puff job.” He didn’t get one.


From the Hardcover edition.

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