Pearson by Norman Hillmer

Pearson

Norman Hillmer
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Annotation

Lester B. Pearson was Canada's most successful diplomat, but as prime minister he was both controversial and paradoxical. He was the butter-fingered old smoothie, the cautious innovator, the anti-war warrior, the mild-mannered confrontationalist. The Pearson years were full of action and originality. Pearson had a strong team with bold, fresh ideas and their achievement was staggering. But there was also corruption in government, bitterness in Parliament, and turmoil on the home and diplomatic fronts. It was a period of both national accomplishment and national malaise, of a colourful new national flag and Charles de Gaulle's famous cry, "Vive le Quebec libre!"

In this collection of essays marking the centenary of Pearson's birth, eighteen leading academics, journalists, public servants, and politicians recreate and reassess Pearson's premiership from 1963 to 1968. Robert Bothwell (Toronto) introduces Pearson the man and Denis Stairs (Dalhousie) presents his political ideas. Governor General award-winning author and journalist Christina McCall and J.L. Granatstein (Canadian Institute of International Affairs) compare Pearson and his nemesis, John Diefenbaker. Stephen Azzi (House of Commons) and Greg Donaghy (Department of Foreign Affairs) write respectively about the prime minister's relations with Walter Gordon and Paul Martin, Sr. Tom Kent (Queen's) and Penny Bryden (Mount Allison) discuss the Pearson welfare state, while Claude Ryan, editor of Le Devoir in the 1960s, and Michael Behiels (Ottawa) debate national unity. Patrick Brennan (Calgary) looks at the media. Monique Begin (Ottawa), Andrew Cohen (Globe and Mail), Blair Neatby (Carleton), and former public servants Ross Campbell, Al Johnson, Geoffrey Pearson, and Gordon Robertson gauge the scope of Pearson's legacy. The collection also includes an introduction by the editor and a foreword by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Publisher Description

In this collection of essays marking the centenary of Pearson's birth, eighteen leading academics, journalists, public servants, and politicians recreate and reassess Pearson's premiership from 1963 to 1968. Robert Bothwell (Toronto) introduces Pearson the man and Denis Stairs (Dalhousie) presents his political ideas. Governor General award-winning author and journalist Christina McCall and J.L. Granatstein (Canadian Institute of International Affairs) compare Pearson and his nemesis, John Diefenbaker. Stephen Azzi (House of Commons) and Greg Donaghy (Department of Foreign Affairs) write respectively about the prime minister's relations with Walter Gordon and Paul Martin Sr. Tom Kent (Queen's) and Penny Bryden (Mount Allison) discuss the Pearson welfare state, while Claude Ryan, editor of Le Devoir in the 1960s, and Michael Behiels (Ottawa) debate national unity. Patrick Brennan (Calgary) looks at the media. Monique Begin (Ottawa), Andrew Cohen (Globe and Mail), Blair Neatby (Carleton), and former public servants Ross Campbell, Al Johnson, Geoffrey Pearson, and Gordon Robertson gauge the scope of Pearson's legacy. The collection also includes an introduction by the editor and a foreword by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Review
“Mike Pearson led us to a more tolerant, civilized, healthy, and prosperous country. This warm, generous, 'very ordinary' great man knew that great countries care for those who have little, nurture those who can do much, and bring in those who stand outside. Those were his values, his Liberal values, and they are mine. His life was one of those rare and special ones that changed history and society.” Prime Minister Jean Chretien, from the Foreword

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Pearson

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