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Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker Paperback – Jan 1 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 702 pages
  • Publisher: Macfarlane Walter & Ross (Jan. 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551990091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551990095
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.5 x 3.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #463,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“What a life. What a man. What a biography.”
–Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail

“Smith outlines brilliantly what has long been suspected or known by those who were there.”
–John Pepall, Books in Canada

“Detailed, sweeping, and compulsively readable...the best political biography of the year.”
–Peter Gzowski, ‘Morningside’, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Denis Smith is a professor emeritus of political science and former dean of social science at the University of Western Ontario. He has published four highly praised books, including works on the 1970 October Crisis and Canadian diplomacy during the Cold War. His book, Rogue Tory: The Life and Legend of John G. Diefenbaker, is the definitive biography of Canada's thirteenth prime minister, and was followed by The Prisoners of Cabrera, the story of Napoleon’s forgotten soldiers. He has twice won the John W. Dafoe Prize for historical writing and the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography. He lives in Port Hope, Ontario and spends part of each year in Spain.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
This text appeared as I was attending graduate school in Toronto, Ontario. I ended up writing my thesis on a specific part of the Diefenbaker governments and this book is the reason why. (I'd also like to say that I wrote Smith about some of my research and he was very cooperative and professional!) Wonderfully researched and well written, you'll learn quite a bit about Dief the Chief and US-Canadian relations during the dangerous years from the late 50s to early 1960s; but you'll also learn more about the Canadian experience.
This book is simply must for anyone hoping to understand Canadian politics and culture.
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By A Customer on Aug. 4 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book has all you'll ever need to know about Canada's 13th PM. It is thoroughly (almost excessively!) researched, and covers the Chief's life from start to finish. At no point did I find myself thinking, "gee, I wish Smith could have provided us with more details or factual information". No book has gone this far in providing us with the definitive Dief!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Fenn on March 26 2007
Format: Paperback
Yes, Smith's book is magisterial.

It's also a little cynical.

Meticulously researched and painstakingly crafted, one is still left wondering whether any lingering respect for the values that Diefenbaker stood for could have produced a less cynical impression.

But it must be acknowledged that biography is not hagiography and the first class biographer that Smith is has managed to retain a professional distance from his subject.

So the Canada of the winner of the 1958 landslide remains curiously distant beyond Smith's weighty and well-produced work. In that year the values and the historical perspective of English Canada were not according to the cynical eye-glasses which Smith employs - to hilarious effect sometimes - and Smith's work proves indeed that the past is a foreign country.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dumping on Dief--Again Sept. 28 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book's virtues are obvious. It is a very thorough, well-researched scholarly monograph covering all aspects of the public and private lives of the former Conservative prime minister of Canada. It is factually reliable and stylistically readable, if a touch dull.
But it is so thoroughly, comprehensively, persistently hostile towards its subject that it cannot be considered balanced or fair. It probably contains the truth (and nothing but the truth) about Diefenbaker, but it doesn't contain the WHOLE truth about him. The author is too obviously grinding an axe; his antipathy seems almost personal at times.
The cover is a clue to the contents, since it has a demonic close-up of a glowering Diefenbaker. Basically, the author thinks that the former PM did nothing right, apart from give South Africa a hard time on occasion. According to the author, everything Dief touched went wrong. His account of Diefenbaker's relations with John F. Kennedy are particularly disappointing. Absolutely nothing is granted to the PM's position while the President emerges as the very epitome of cool-headed reasonableness. (We know otherwise now.)
In other words, this is just a long, dull but dependably scholarly version of Peter Newman's anti-Diefenbaker polemics from the 1960s. It is as though the author wanted to make Newman's caricature of Diefenbaker respectable. Measured against that very low ambition, this book must be judged a success. Too bad the author didn't aim higher and produce a balanced picture of Diefenbaker warts and all, rather than just all wart.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great biography of a towering figure of Canadian history.. Dec 7 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This text appeared as I was attending graduate school in Toronto, Ontario. I ended up writing my thesis on a specific part of the Diefenbaker governments and this book is the reason why. (I'd also like to say that I wrote Smith about some of my research and he was very cooperative and professional!) Wonderfully researched and well written, you'll learn quite a bit about Dief the Chief and US-Canadian relations during the dangerous years from the late 50s to early 1960s; but you'll also learn more about the Canadian experience.
This book is simply must for anyone hoping to understand Canadian politics and culture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Definitive Dief! Aug. 4 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book has all you'll ever need to know about Canada's 13th PM. It is thoroughly (almost excessively!) researched, and covers the Chief's life from start to finish. At no point did I find myself thinking, "gee, I wish Smith could have provided us with more details or factual information". No book has gone this far in providing us with the definitive Dief!


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