Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Extraordinary Canadians: Lester B. Pearson: A Penguin Lives Biography Hardcover – Sep 16 2008


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
CDN$ 126.03 CDN$ 2.39

Join Amazon Student in Canada



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 16 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670067385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670067381
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13 x 19.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 28 2008
Format: Hardcover
This brief commemorative study on the life and times of Lester(Mike) Pearson covers a fair bit of the man's political record as one of Canada's leading diplomats, politicians and internationalists of the 20th century in cursory fashion. If the reader wants a more in depth coverage, Pearson's personal memoirs "Mike" is the place to go. Nevertheless, Cohen provides an accurate profile of Pearson has he rose from humble beginnings in rural southern Ontario to become a leading force in the promotion of world peace through quiet negotiations and timely intervention. While it would be hard to call Pearson a pacifist, he definitely pursued the need to defuse the presence of war mongering during the Cold War as a means of building a more secure future for the world at large. As both a realist and an adept broker, Pearson had the ability to bring conflicting parties together over issues like control of the Suez Canal and the Korean War. His leadership of the Liberal Party in the 50s and 60s was no different. As Cohen points out, Pearson's patience and skill as a prime minister, with moderate nationalist leanings, allowed him to take the country successfully through one of its stormiest political times with the support of two minority governments. At the end of his administration, he had given Canada a new flag, universal medicare and a host of other critical judicial reforms. While serving as a much deserved tribute to a special person in Canadian history, this book does not shy away from mentioning his warts; not least of all his jealousy of colleagues's success.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Coach C TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 10 2008
Format: Hardcover
Arguably, Canada's most accomplished Prime Minister, this biography of Lester B Pearson by Andrew Cohen is the latest in the Extraordinary Canadians Series edited by John Ralston Saul.

Pearson was always a realist, never much of an ideologue. Where Pierre Trudeau was mostly flash, Pearson was all substance. Cohen describes Pearson as being the middle inning reliever, not the flash of a starter, nor the brashness of a closer, Pearson was the "no-name" Prime Minister who knew how to get things done.

Overall, this is a good overview of a great man. It's not too full of detail but just enough to make it worth your while reading. I definitely recommend the book especially if you are Canadian.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Theodore A. Rushton on Oct. 28 2010
Format: Hardcover
With admirable insouciance, Cohen offers a charming sketch of Canada's very own 'Forrest Gump' politician, a man with a smile as bright and relevant as his bow ties who rose to preside over one of the most ineffective spasms of Canadian government.

Pearson was as dull as his predecessor was visionary; his talent was an ability to mediate passionate issues which came to define a vision of Canada that ultimately became real. He's the mirror image to John Diefenbaker, who inspired people with glowing visions of a rugged Canadismo but wasn't organized enough to get a cup of coffee and do-nut from a free lunch counter.

Cohen presents a masterful sketch of Pearson's career and achievements; yet, he fails to understand why Diefenbaker/Pearson duality is as significant as John A. Macdonald in the 1860s. Significantly, neither Macdonald nor Diefenbaker are included in this series.

In 1957, Diefenbaker lit the fuse of Canadian nationalism. In 1963, Pearson became the conciliator in the delicate art of statecraft who blended those surging nationalist passions into one nation. Had any prime minister of recent times been in office instead of Pearson, Canada might have been Balkanized into its five constituent parts.

Like Forrest Gump, Pearson was the right man in the right place at the right time with the right sense of compromise. After a cabal of vain hotheads launched the Suez crisis of 1956, and within days realized their mega-blunder, Pearson was the one whom all respected enough to accept his all-around face-saving solution. It was diplomacy at its finest, the most astute resolution of an international crisis since the United Nations was founded.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David on Jan. 22 2009
Format: Hardcover
Andrew Cohen presents a well-balanced perspective of this remarkable Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner. This is a very readable book. Cohen avoids getting caught up in biographical trivia and instead zeroes in on the key elements that truly define the man and the era in Canadian politics and world affairs which Pearson helped craft. One emerges after reading this book with a much fuller grasp of Lester Pearson the man and the pivotal role he played in shaping the Canada we know today.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent portrait of a great man Nov. 1 2008
By Robert Elgie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
One of the titles in Penguin's Extraordinary Canadians series, this brief portrait offers a useful introduction to Canada's fourteenth prime minister. At under 200 pages, there's not a lot of detail. But Andrew Cohen's engaging account makes it very clear that even had Pearson not become prime minister, his earlier diplomatic achievements would have placed him high on any list of significant Canadians. Add to those the accomplishments of his five years in office and he becomes perhaps the most important Canadian of the twentieth century.

For those who lived through the daily chaos of Pearson's two minority governments, this book provides worthwhile perspective. Those for whom the sixties are only history will find it an excellent introduction to an outstanding man.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Canada's very own 'Forrest Gump' politician Oct. 28 2010
By Theodore A. Rushton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With admirable insouciance, Cohen offers a charming sketch of Canada's very own 'Forrest Gump' politician, a man with a smile as bright and relevant as his bow ties who rose to preside over one of the most ineffective spasms of Canadian government.

Pearson was as dull as his predecessor was visionary; his talent was an ability to mediate passionate issues which came to define a vision of Canada that ultimately became real. He's the mirror image to John Diefenbaker, who inspired people with glowing visions of a rugged Canadismo but wasn't organized enough to get a cup of coffee and do-nut from a free lunch counter.

Cohen presents a masterful sketch of Pearson's career and achievements; yet, he fails to understand why Diefenbaker/Pearson duality is as significant as John A. Macdonald in the 1860s. Significantly, neither Macdonald nor Diefenbaker are included in this series.

In 1957, Diefenbaker lit the fuse of Canadian nationalism. In 1963, Pearson became the conciliator in the delicate art of statecraft who blended those surging nationalist passions into one nation. Had any prime minister of recent times been in office instead of Pearson, Canada might have been Balkanized into its five constituent parts.

Like Forrest Gump, Pearson was the right man in the right place at the right time with the right sense of compromise. After a cabal of vain hotheads launched the Suez crisis of 1956, and within days realized their mega-blunder, Pearson was the one whom all respected enough to accept his all-around face-saving solution. It was diplomacy at its finest, the most astute resolution of an international crisis since the United Nations was founded.

Pearson used the same Forrest Gump blandness to defuse the errant passions of Diefenbaker's "I am a Canadian" nationalism and craft it into a nation united in its diversity and proud of that heritage. One of the finest sequences is Cohen's vivid description of Pearson's encounter with President Lyndon Johnson; even though he blustered at his best, LBJ failed utterly to bully Pearson as he always managed to intimidate so many Americans.

American politics still suffers from the brutal impacts of LBJ's tough shod manners; Canada's stature to this day benefits from Pearson's calm demeanor and faith in the Canadian values of moderation, pragmatism and ambiguity. For LBJ, only LBJ mattered; for Pearson, only Canada mattered.

Cohen does an admirable job in summarizing Pearson's career; but, like the 'Extraordinary Canadians' series of books itself, he knows much but fails to understand even more. It's nice scholarship, lacking only insight, understanding and vision.

Product Images from Customers

Search


Feedback