Writing the Nation

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pierre berton bio

This is a terrific book every Canadian should read. It is not only story of one man but also a history of Canadian media. Only having come to Canada in 1970 I used to think Berton was a blowhard having only gotten to know the ever present voice and face on our electronic media and in print daily. It seemed he was on every tv show and every radio program and in every print medium. And, well, he was. Then he was gone and it appears forgotten. This thrilling new biography corrects some of that. I have been giving it away as a present to my former media colleagues. I didn't really know one tenth of Berton and his career. Well sourced while reading like an adventure novel.

Phil Menger more than 14 years ago

Pride is bad?

You "can’t imagine that any serious historian, academic or otherwise, would be interested in 'bolstering Canadian pride'—at least [you] hope not?"

Good lord, that's parochial: as stark an expression of cultural immaturity as you'll find in the rhetoric of any idealistic evocation of the last spike, triumph at Vimy, etc. etc.

Do you suppose that historians have no opinions? Do you suppose that they shouldn't, or that they shouldn't express them in writing? Why bother reading, if not to discover a unique, subjective portrait of a given subject?

If you're not interested in reading prose with an agenda, be it ideological, political, aesthetic, moral, etc., I have a lovely book of stereo instructions you may like.

Other than that gross slippage of myopia, I quite liked the piece.

Anonymous more than 14 years ago

Like you, I've gained a great

Like you, I've gained a great deal of respect for Berton in only the past few years, though I grew up knowing who he was. He may have not been a brilliant academic, but he spun great yarns, and he made us interested in ourselves.

An important--the important?--Canadian writer.

Paul more than 14 years ago