Paul Jordan (The Forks)
Paul Jordan is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Forks. The Forks is a historic site and popular public place where the two main rivers in Winnipeg meet - the Assiniboine and the Red. In the summer there are concerts and events. In the winter, there are festivals, tobogganing and skating along the river.
As COO, Jordan is responsible for all physical operations at the site and facilities, capital developments, site planning and overseeing programming development. He also leads a coalition responsible for waterfront access in downtown Winnipeg, is Chair of the Winnipeg Trails Association, sits on the board of Manitoba Music and was integral in the creation of Rivers West.
SCENE wants to know what Manitoban personalities like Paul are reading. We asked him which book stands out as being a good read, something to 'bookmark'. Paul told us that for him it was Admiral of the Ocean Sea - A Life of Christopher Columbus by Samuel Eliot Morison.
I am currently reading Admiral of The Ocean Sea by Samuel Eliot Morison. It's 'old school' (written in 1943) but absolutely riveting. It tells the tale of Christopher Columbus' four voyages. Morrison is a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and author who actually sailed Columbus' route to match history with reality.
In telling the tale in a straight-up historical and analytical fashion, Columbus' character slowly starts to emerge without artifice or interpretation. It's then that you realize the sheer power of an idea; that power is able to transcend into genius and impart incredible courage and patience and has the ability to even mask reality. (Although Columbus was right about the possibility of a global planet, he was incredibly wrong and died never knowing he had actually discovered a new world).
The book is also laced with a dark nostalgia: "the what ifs" and the "what could have been" as Morison and Columbus describe their first encounters with North Americans. You can't help but feel for these fellow humans as they unknowingly walk in front of the "speeding bus" called the European invasion that was about to exterminate them.
Finally Morison's style -- that "Hemingway" less-is-more type of prose -- results in a rollicking, seafaring tale of discovery that thrills the repressed adventure gene that lies in all of us.
More about Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Samuel Eliot Morison:
Telling the story of the greatest sailor of them all, "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" is a vivid and definitive biography of Columbus that details all of his voyages that, for better or worse, changed the world. 50 drawings, maps & charts; 4 fold-outs.