John A. Macdonald

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 1154 pages
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The Dictionary of Canadian Biography calls this work 'probably the greatest Canadian biography yet published in English.' Donald Creighton's two-volume account of Canada's first Prime Minister was originally published in the 1950s as 'John A. Macdonald: The Young Lion' (1952) and 'John A. Macdonald: The Old Chieftain' (1955). Each of the volumes won a Governor General's Literary Award. Creighton's rare combination of rigorous scholarship, magnificent literary style, and romantic and heroic vision gives this work extraordinary power and wide appeal.

Sir John A. Macdonald's flamboyant personality dominated Canadian public life from the years preceding Confederation to the end of the nineteenth century, and the political structures and national policies which developed under his leadership continue to shape public issues today. Creighton's first volume takes Macdonald from his childhood and early years as a young lawyer in Kingston, Ontario, through his swift rise in political life to positions of influence, to the great achievement of uniting the colonies of British North America in Confederation. The second volume traces Macdonald's often tumultuous subsequent career in the context of a growing and often recalcitrant nation. He was Prime Minister from 1867 to 1873 and then again from 1878 until his death in June, 1891. The spectacular and evocative epilogues with which Creighton concludes each volume are widely recognized as having a place among the great passages of literary prose.

P. B. Waite's introduction to this new one-volume republication provides an illuminating account of the impact that Creighton and his biography of Macdonald had on a whole generation of historians and readers.

 

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Contents

The Immigrant Macdonalds 18151830 I
1
The Lawyers Apprentice 18301837
21
First Public Appearances 18371839
46
The New Conservative Candidate 18391844
69
Minister of the Crown 18441847
100
The Twilight of the Tory Party 18471849
125
Years of Recovery 18491851
147
The LiberalConservative Coalition 18511854
174
The Humiliation of George Brown 18581861
273
Impasse 18611864
315
British North America in Conference JuneDecember 1864
354
Checkmate January 1865April 1866
391
Triumph April 1866March 1867
431
EpilogueThe First of July 1867
466
A Note on Authorities
482
Notes
485

The Victory of the ProgressiveConservatives 18541856
208
Double Shuffle 18561858
238

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