"John A.: The Man Who Made Us"

John A.: The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn

Well, it’s not light reading, but it is worth the effort. I intended to get it, and its sequel “Nation Maker”, read last year for Canada’s 150th birthday, but life had other plans so I’m getting them done now.

It’s very readable, not always something you can say about history books, and though I did get bogged down in the politics now and then, most of it was quite interesting. It’s full of great anecdotes about the development of Canada though the 1800s, descriptions of how our cities got started and what life was like in those places at that time. There was so much I didn’t know about our relationship with the U.S. through those years and up to Confederation, and I found that eye-opening. It also showed me, up close, the personalities I’ve only known as the Fathers of Confederation. Now I see them as real people, with strengths and talents, and foibles and flaws, and the result is they are far more interesting to me. I’m looking forward to the sequel.


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