"An exciting story, passionately told and rich in detail, this major
biography is the second volume of the bestselling, award-winning John A: The Man Who Made Us, by well-known journalist and highly respected author Richard Gwyn.
A. Macdonald, Canada's first and most important prime minister, is the
man who made Confederation happen, who built this country over the next
quarter century, and who shaped what it is today. From Confederation Day
in 1867, where this volume picks up, Macdonald finessed a reluctant
union of four provinces in central and eastern Canada into a strong
nation, despite indifference from Britain and annexationist sentiment in
the United States.
But it wasn't easy. The wily Macdonald faced
constant crises throughout these years, from Louis Riel's two rebellions
through to the Pacific Scandal that almost undid his government and his
quest to find the spine of the nation: the railroad that would link
east to west. Gwyn paints a superb portrait of Canada and its leaders
through these formative years and also delves deep to show us Macdonald
the man, as he marries for the second time, deals with the birth of a
disabled child, and the assassination of his close friend Darcy McGee,
and wrestles with whether Riel should hang.
Indelibly, Gwyn shows
us Macdonald's love of this country and his ability to joust with
forces who would have been just as happy to see the end of Canada before
it had really begun, creating a must-read for all Canadians."