Izzy Asper was a true visionary and a self-made billionaire. In the kind of intimate detail that made his other books mega bestsellers, Peter C. Newman profiles one of the most charismatic and powerful Canadian tycoons of the past quarter century. A serial risk-taker with a fever in his blood, the always controversial Asper grew a tiny television station, operated out of a converted supermarket, into the CanWest empire. Under Asper’s guidance, CanWest became Canada’s most profitable television network, one that comprised Global Television, and more than 60 newspapers—including the National Post—and was run mainly out of Izzy’s briefcase from his beloved hometown of Winnipeg.
Izzy was the quintessential entrepreneur, constantly in flight and flux, each of his improbable ventures feeding on the next. Only his family occupied higher ground than his business interests, yet he combined the joys of home life with his killer instincts at work. Both were essential to his character.
In the end, Izzy Asper was addicted as much to the game as to its rewards. What made him so special was his ability to create warm, electric moments among his friends and loyalists, yet inspire fear in his critics and enemies. Izzy is Canadian business history at its best, a masterful portrait of the man who was, for decades, the country’s leading media mogul.