“In the 1860s, western alienation began at Yonge Street, and George Brown was the Preston Manning of the day.” So begins Christopher Moore’s fascinating 1990s look at the messy, dramatic, crisis-ridden process that brought Canada into being – and at the politicians, no more lovable or united than our own, who, against all odds, managed to forge a deal that worked.
From the first chapter, he turns a fresh, perceptive, and lucid eye on the people, the issues, and the political theories of Confederation – from John A. Macdonald’s canny handling of leadership to the invention of federalism and the Senate, from the Quebec question to the influence of political philosophers Edmund Burke and Walter Bagehot.
This is a book for all Canadians who love their country – and fear for it after the failure of the constitution-making of the 1990s. Here is a clear, entertaining reintroduction to the ideas and processes that forged the nation.
|Publisher:||McClelland & Stewart|
|Product dimensions:||6.02(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)|
About the Author
Christopher Moore may be Canada’s most versatile writer of history. His first book, Louisbourg Portraits, won a Governor General’s Award and continues to delight readers, and his Loyalists: Revolution, Exile, Settlement won the Secretary of State’s Prize for Excellence in Canadian Studies. He co-authored the authoritative Illustrated History of Canada, and his history of Canada for young people, The Story of Canada (co-authored with Janet Lunn), was a bestseller and won the Mister Christie Award for Children’s Books. He has also written The Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario’s Lawyers, Canada: Our Country (co-authored with Mark Kingwell), and 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal. He has made many radio documentaries for CBC-Radio’s “Ideas” and writes a column for The Beaver.
Christopher Moore lives in Toronto.
Hometown:Hawaii and San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:August 5, 1958
Place of Birth:Toledo, Ohio
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Christopher Moore writes about the confederation debates in the 1860s, and relates them to the constitutional conferences of the 1980s and 1990s. He explains the context in which the "fathers [of confederation] made a deal", and contrasts that with modern-days processes and politics. Especially interesting, to me, was the changing role of Parliament. In the 1860s, members of paliament were expected to function as representatives, not delegates. They were to bring their best judgement to issues, and there was no perceived need to consult the public through referenda or other means. Responsible government meant responsible to the House, and party discipline did not prevent individual members from voting as they saw best. Today, democracy has come to mean direct democracy. As Christopher Moore puts in, everyone in Canada has an opinion on major issues, except those elected to the House of Commons, who must toe the party line.So, not only a fine history of Canada's origins, but also a thought-provoking commentary of today's political landscape. Well worth the read.