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Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times Hardcover – Sep 27 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (Sept. 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307356442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307356444
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Smedmor on Nov. 12 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sir John A Macdonald did something amazing. In 1867, he and his fellow Fathers of Confederation knit together four separate British colonies into the Dominion of Canada.

That in itself was an exceptional accomplishment, as detailed in Volume 1 - "The Man Who Made Us" by Richard Gwyn.

Gwyn's second volume, "Nation Builder" is even better. Gwyn is able to show us the steps that Macdonald, an outstanding negotiator and very clever builder, undertook to turn Canada from four provinces in eastern North America into a nation from sea to sea and north to the Arctic Ocean.

There were bumps along the way: the Pacific Scandal that put Macdonald into opposition for 5 years; Macdonald's troubled home life; his regrettable addiction to alcohol; his decision to execute Louis Riel after the second Riel rebellion.

However, Macdonald drove the agenda that saw the CPR finished in 1885 with an all-Canadian route; developed the manufacturing and the settlement policies that provided the foundations; and steadily built the foundations for Canada's eventual independence from Great Britain.

I have previously read Donald Creighton's two volumes on Macdonald ("The Young Politician" and "The Old Chieftain" and they were good. However, Richard Gwyn, with a wonderful style and a great storyteller's knack for planning and referencing his tale, makes Sir John A., nation builder; stand out as an individual to whom all Canadians owe a debt of gratitude.

What is certainly interesting is that Macdonald accomplished so much with his skills in persuasion, his intellect and his ability to form coalitions that were willing to work together. He wa, except for George Brown, founder of "the Globe" newspaper, rarely vengeful.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Keith on Oct. 3 2011
Format: Hardcover
Richard Gwyn has written a well-researched and detailed, yet engaging, biography of Sir John A. that is a treasure to our relatively young nation. Stereotypes about Canadian history being boring, incrimental, lacking great individuals, etc, fall by the wayside while reading this wonderful book.

As historial Michael Bliss wrote, "Thanks to him (Mr. Gwyn) we now have a John A. Macdonald for twenty-first century Canada." Vital, detailed, and engaging... enough to make modest Canadians nationalistic, but in a good way...and non-Canadians better appreciate our roots.

Bravo!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book and its companion volume ought to be ready by every Canadian. It instills confidence in our nation and its history. It is possible for a great diversity of human beings and groups to live together in one nation with a common purpose.
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By Cattieluver on March 24 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent read. Make sure you get both parts of this biography. It's very well written and quite fascinating, as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Canadian history and how one mans vision and determination changed history through his wit .charm and political skills forged the way to Canadas confederation through the national dream of a railway system jioning west and eastern canada through his vision
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