Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times

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Vintage Canada, Aug 21, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 736 pages
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

John A. Macdonald, Canada's first and most important prime minister, is the man who made Confederation happen, who built this country over the next quarter century, and who shaped what it is today. From Confederation Day in 1867, where this volume picks up, Macdonald finessed a reluctant union of four provinces in central and eastern Canada into a strong nation, despite indifference from Britain and annexationist sentiment in the United States.

But it wasn't easy. Gwyn paints a superb portrait of Canada and its leaders through these formative years and also delves deep to show us Macdonald the man, as he marries for the second time, deals with the birth of a disabled child, and the assassination of his close friend Darcy McGee, and wrestles with whether Riel should hang. Indelibly, Gwyn shows us Macdonald's love of this country and his ability to joust with forces who would have been just as happy to see the end of Canada before it had really begun, creating a must-read for all Canadians.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - musecure - LibraryThing

A very easy and enjoyable read. Gwyn's "Nation Maker" looks at Sir John A. Macdonald's post-Confederation career. Just as Canadian Confederation was not a guarantee, neither was the young country's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RobertP - LibraryThing

Best work of Canadian history that I have read in years. It positions Sir John A in his time and it makes him come alive as a human as well as a politician. Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Present at the Creation
16
Manifest Destiny versus Manifest Destiny
99
Building the Future Ruining the Present II 8
118
IO Rage and Recovery
129
I2 Bragging Rights
156
I3 Railway First Election Next
176
I4 Gristle into Bone
189
A Dream Baulked
360
The Worst of Times
383
Gods Messenger
396
The One White Than Whom There Is No Higher 4I4 28 A Defiant Doomed Gesture
434
Wickedly Maliciously and Traitorously
457
Knocking Off the Queens Bonnet
475
3I Youll Never Die
497
The Wheels of His Mind
513

I5 The Blunder
205
I6 Decline
221
Fall
244
I8 A Second Act
259
I9 Bismarcks Twin
276
The People Change Their Minds
295
2I A Considerable Man A Considerable Empire
311
Build It and They Will Come
327
The Best of Times
341
The Second Bell
534
Loyalty versus the Dollar
573
Epilogue
581
Acknowledgments
595
Notes
598
Bibliography
647
Picture Credits
705
Index
709
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

RICHARD GWYN is an award-winning author and political columnist. He is widely known as a commentator for the Toronto Star on national and international affairs and as a frequent contributor to television and radio programs. His books include two highly praised biographies, Smallwood: The Unlikely Revolutionary on Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood, and The Northern Magus on Pierre Elliott Trudeau. His book, Nationalism Without Walls: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian, was selected by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important books published in Canada.The first volume of Gwyn's biography of Macdonald was published in 2007, became a national bestseller and won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. The author lives in Toronto, ON.

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