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John A by Richard J. Gwyn
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John A by Richard J. Gwyn
Paperback $19.50
Oct 28, 2008 | ISBN 9780679314769

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  • Oct 28, 2008 | ISBN 9780679314769

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  • Mar 18, 2009 | ISBN 9780307371355

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“Judging by the first half, his two-volume biography will no doubt be ranked with Donald Creighton’s two-book landmark from the 1950s…Gwyn provides a more dispassionate analysis of this complicated man and his times…A welcome addition to the national library.” –The National Post

“Gwyn has performed a service to 21st-century Canadians by recreating a man of the 19th so well…This is a book that [Donald] Creighton, and perhaps even Sir John A. himself, could pick up and learn something.” –Winnipeg Free Press

“A vivid, multi-dimensional portrait of a fascinating character and his times…Gwyn, his trademark wry wit enlivening his text, brings a lifetime of political punditry to bear on his subject, surely one of the most intriguing political figures Canada even produced” -Montreal Gazette

“Gwyn’s book is also a hymn of praise to what he sees as a miraculous country, miraculous in its peacefulness, its diversity, its tolerance and its determined un-Americanness…Those positive national qualities can be traced back unmistakably to its first leader. This is the personal and contemporary insight that distinguishes this biography.”- Toronto Star

“Through historical documents, Gwyn gives great insight into this complicated character and his turbulent life… John A comes alive in these pages on many levels, including his most fallible.”HaH – Halifax Chronicle-Herald

“In a lively but thorough biography of John A. Macdonald up to the day of Confederation in 1867, Richard Gwyn brings to life the young Scottish-born lawyer who found himself unexpectedly entering politics in Kingston in 1844. Gwyn writes from a twenty-first century perspective while painting for his readers a vivid image of nineteenth century Canada: its society, customs, characters and politics. Gwyn helps us understand Macdonald’s genius and vision, which would shape the nation that grew to the north of the United States."
– Charles Taylor Prize Jury


Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction WINNER 2008

Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing FINALIST 2008

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