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Extraordinary Canadians Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baa

A Penguin Lives Biography

by Dorothy Eber

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cultural heritage
list price: $26
edition:Hardcover
published: 2010
ISBN:9780670067329
Description

Canada has no better interpreter than prolific writer and thinker John Ralston Saul. Here he argues that Canada did not begin in 1867; indeed, its foundation was laid by two visionary men, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. The two leaders of Lower and Upper Canada, respectively, worked together after the 1841 Union to lead a reformist movement for responsible government run by elected citizens instead of a colonial governor.

But it was during the "Great Ministry" of 1848—51 that the two politicians implemented laws that created a more equitable country. They revamped judicial institutions, created a public education system, made bilingualism official, designed a network of public roads, began a public postal system, and reformed municipal governance. Faced with opposition, and even violence, the two men— polar opposites in temperament—united behind a set of principles and programs that formed modern Canada. Writing with verve and deep conviction, Saul restores these two extraordinary Canadians to rightful prominence.

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Contributor notes

John Ralston Saul is Canada’s leading public intellectual. Declared a “prophet” by Time magazine, Saul has received many awards and prizes, including Chile’s Pablo Neruda Medal. He is president of PEN International, an organization dedicated to freedom of expression. He has published fourteen works, which have been translated into twenty-five languages in thirty-six countries, the most recent of which is The Comeback, an examination of the remarkable return to power of Aboriginal people in Canada. Saul lives in Toronto.

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Editorial Review

These books are…opportunities to deepen the relationship between Canadians of the past and Canadians of the present. May this dialogue continue, so that today’s biographers themselves will be the subject of the next wave of writers.” - The Globe and Mail

“The books would be a lovely addition to any library…they’re accessible and ready to be read by all.” - The Nova Scotian (Sunday Herald)

“Saul’s Extraordinary Canadians series is an extraordinary treat for history buffs” - The Hill Times

“The books would be a lovely addition to any library…they’re accessible and ready to be read by all.” - The Nova Scotian (Sunday Herald)

“Saul’s Extraordinary Canadians series an extraordinary treat for history buffs” (headline) - The Hill Times

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