Toronto: Biography of a City Hardcover – Unabridged, Sep 5 2014
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"...Levine's shrewd and lively account of two centuries of Toronto history..." (Maclean's 2014-09-18)
"His book...comes packed with such stories, moments from Toronto's odd history that prove the city was weird long before Rob Ford was elected." (National Post 2014-09-30)
"...an entertaining book. Levine has made an energetic career -- I hope a successful one, he deserves it -- of popularizing Canadian history with a big reach...he writes chatty history...bringing it alive again." (Literary Review of Canada 2014-10-01)
"...a fond but not uncritical history of Canada's largest city...his handsome book...Toronto: Biography of A City reads well. It abounds with punchy portraits of the city's leading citizens: many scoundrels and a few tarnished saints. Levine is adept at linking historical events to today's news...Levine enlivens his tale with judicious helpings of sex, drugs and rock and roll...After reading it, many Canadians may agree with Levine's judgment: 'In short, Toronto is one self-absorbed fishbowl.' But it's our fishbowl." (Winnipeg Free Press 2014-10-11)
"The subtitle of Allan Levine's ambitious history of Toronto may seem stolid as the city's British founding families, but it doesn't take long for the reader to realize how carefully chosen it is. Levine, who won high praise for his 2011 biography of Mackenzie King, treats the city as he would any biographical subject: as a constantly changing personality rooted to the historical moment by a set of defining passions, idiosyncrasies, blind spots, and complex relations with family members...This approach...serves Levine well. He announces his intentions in a very witty introduction...The book includes an excellent selection of archival images and photographs that highlights key themes and personalities...The text is also enlivened by dozens of highly quotable observations, appreciations, and put-downs from the last 200 years. The insults are especially good...Love it or hate it, Toronto is a slippery city to pin down Levine's excellent biography goes a long way to explaining why." (James Grainer Quill & Quire 2014-11-01)
"Ambitious in scope and masterful in execution, Allan Levine's panoramic portrait of our city from its beginnings to the present is sweeping and opinionated, judicious and clever, insightful and gossipy all at once. This is no dry academic survey, but a lively, popular-style "biography"...Levine excels at integrating large amounts of complex information into a flowing and satisfying narrative...bristles with insight...His summation of the Ford years (ending before Ford's dramatic withdrawal from his re-election campaign for health reasons) is simply superb...Let's face it: for a writer like Levine, a mayor like Ford is a gift from heaven. And, for all of us who love Toronto, so is this book. Toronto: Biography of a City is a timely, vibrant history of our modern megacity as it comes of age." (Bill Gladstone Canadian Jewish News 2014-11-20)
"I suspect most Americans know very little about Canada other than it forms our northern border and that its hockey team is one of the most valuable franchises in the NHL. You can repair that gap in your knowledge, for example, with Allan Levine’s Toronto: Biography of a City...For anyone who is interested in the development of a dynamic city this book will prove very entertaining." (Alan Caruba 2005-04-01)
About the Author
Allan Levine is an award-winning author and historian who has written ten books. He is a historical consultant on the documentary Jewish Partisans currently under production by Emmy-award winning documentary filmmaker Julia Mintz. A diverse author who moves easily between popular non-fiction and fiction, he has written four historical mysteries. His first mystery, The Blood Libel, won the Margaret McWilliams Medal for Best Historical Fiction and was nominated for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Arthur Ellis First Mystery Novel Award. He lives in Winnipeg.
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The history of this great city should be on the curriculem.