Guide Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Volume One: 1919-1968

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Were all these women "beautiful"?

Was this characterization really necessary? It's a small thing, but in an otherwise sensitive depiction of the inner worlds of the characters in the book, this really stuck out like a sore thumb. The story of Trudeau is fascinating for me because of the parallels I could draw from it to my own personal obsession - Israel's relations with its Arab minority. I found the emphasis here on the development of Trudeau's thinking about democratic values and the relationship between Canada and Quebec was truly enlightening when considering where Israel and Canada diverged in their treatment of their respective national-religious-linguistic minorities.

This is something I hope to give more thought to in the future, but this book certainly provided a good starting point for this thinking for me. Probably a 4. Enjoyed learning about his early years of which I know little and the book was just staring to get really interesting so can't wait for the second volume.

I suspect one I will read again to really take all the points in.

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Apr 26, Emily rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , canadiana , biography , can-lit , literary-nonfiction. I received both volume's of John English's Trudeau biography for Christmas a number of years ago. As is often the case, it sat on the shelf until I felt like I it was the right time to read. I picked up this first volume hoping it might provide some insight into our current election. Volume 1 starts with PET's childhood and ends at the leadership conference in which he wins the Liberal leadership and becomes Prime Minister. In many ways, the political environment of the s was much more I received both volume's of John English's Trudeau biography for Christmas a number of years ago.

In many ways, the political environment of the s was much more difficult than today. The federal government and the provinces where in a full-on fight about federal and provincial rights which wasn't solved until the repatriation of the constitution in Trudeau and others were fighting for a Bill of Rights for Canadians to ensure individual human rights. And of course the Quiet Revolution was underway, though it seems to me, not so quietly.

Already in the s there had been home grown terrorist attacks in favour of an independent French state in North America. What does this tell about the election? In the s they were grappling with issues that would define us as a nation, with politicians whose skill on all sides remains unparalled in Canadian politics. It makes this election look lacklustre at best and the candidates juveniles at worst. From his childhood, PET was interested in a life of public service, as a politician. How do we groom such people? Those who have an authentic interest in public life?

I'll end with something PET told Peter Newman then of the Toronto Star when he was reforming the Criminal Code: "Justice, should be regarded more and more as a department planning for the society of tomorrow, not merely the government's legal advisor Society is throwing up problems all the time - divorce, abortions, family planning, pollution, etc.

Seeing a man come together is an incredible sight. Very few of us actually manage to become our best selves. Not to mention the heroic aspects of throwing oneself against the world to reach at some accommodation with the fraudulent sham that surrounds us. Such a process is all the more worthy if the man changes through this journey. John English solves this puzzle by digging deep into heretofore sealed private papers and Seeing a man come together is an incredible sight.

John English solves this puzzle by digging deep into heretofore sealed private papers and shows us why the young Trudeau was so remarkable. Namely, two factors are at play here: 1 young Pierre went around the world and studied in large parts of it and 2 he had an ability to reject idiotic arguments.

Citizen of the World by John English | Penguin Random House Canada

I believe this largely gave him eyes clear enough to see the Quebec separatist movement for the lie it was and why the federal solution was best to unite such a diverse country. If you believe, as I do, that our upbringing manifests itself loudly in our day-to-day, his argument is clear and convincing. The author never drifts into hagiography nor does he vilify needlessly. And in an era where academics have lost their way in absurd trivialities, this is a welcome effort.

Sep 15, Paul Nelson rated it really liked it. The amount of research and analysis is astounding; English gained access to more of Trudeau's private papers than any previous biographer. The coverage of Trudeau as a budding left-wing intellectual is remarkable, although scant coverage is offered to Trudeau's years as a backbencher in the House of Commons and Trudeau's rise as Lester Pearson's The first volume of John English's biography of Pierre Trudeau covers Trudeau's life from birth until Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada in The coverage of Trudeau as a budding left-wing intellectual is remarkable, although scant coverage is offered to Trudeau's years as a backbencher in the House of Commons and Trudeau's rise as Lester Pearson's Minister of Justice.

This is lamentable because Trudeau made fundamental changes in the lives of Canadians as Justice Minister. Moreover, Trudeau's personal life does not receive the promised coverage in the second half of the book. Trudeau's fabled relationships with women, for example, are covered more in depth early but less so in the second half of the book, where the volume seems to bog down in professional detail. John English had an impossible task: trying to clarify Trudeau the man vs.

1979 Canadian Federal Election Debate

Trudeau the legend. English did this about as well as anyone could, and did so with a fairly remarkable and readable first volume. However, the most enigmatic figure in Canadian history remains just that. Mar 31, Eric Schultz rated it it was amazing. For lovers of Canadian history and politics or just biographies in general this book is a great read.

In covering the man who would go on to become such a polarizing figure among Canadians throughout his career the author does a careful job in neither fawning over or being unjustly critical of the future Prime Minister. Rightly calling out Trudeau on his intricacies, both good and bad, English paints a fully-formed picture of his subject during the formative years of his life and onto adulthood as he worked to find his place in the world.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau was a one of a kind individual and John English certainly does him justice in Volume One of this biography. Jan 28, Greg Perowne rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , non-fiction , politics. Trudeau is a fascinating character, and English does a good job in portraying why he was so polarizing throughout his life.

I can relate to Trudeau's youth in many ways growing up in a bilingual Montreal family and with extensive international experience in my 20's, but even then I'm not sure I'd get along with him at all were I to meet him in his late 20's today. However, I respect a man who is able to reflect on his own opinions and have the strength of mind to change positions on significant Trudeau is a fascinating character, and English does a good job in portraying why he was so polarizing throughout his life. However, I respect a man who is able to reflect on his own opinions and have the strength of mind to change positions on significant issues.

It is also interesting to read Trudeau's vision of Quebec and Canada's place in the world which resonates strongly with my own view, considering the influences in his youth and early adulthood were heavily religious and from the francophone sphere vs. Looking forward to learning in more detail how he puts it all together in practice as prime minister in Volume Two. Comprehensive biography of Trudea's life up until his assumption of the Liberal leadership in The biographer's access to the Trudeau family and friends, as well as Trudeau's personal papers led to a whole picture of Trudeau, both his strengths and failings.

The book reveals a complicated but brilliant man who could be mercurial and whimsical, and at the same time he displayed amazing charisma also appear arrogant and aloof. I'm looking forward to reading volume 2, and in particular, the Comprehensive biography of Trudea's life up until his assumption of the Liberal leadership in I'm looking forward to reading volume 2, and in particular, the coverage of the FLQ crisis, the imposition of the War Measures Act, and "Just watch me.

Jan 16, Daniel rated it really liked it. John English is a fantastic writer.


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He does know how to keep the eyes of the readers where they should be. This biography of the late Prime Minister of Canada is an excellent example of the trust the Estate of P. Trudeau put into his skills. Periods of his life are described with the most amazing way, to keep us from putting it down, not that the days of Trudeau were that exceptional but just for the presence of facts and prose mixed together. Oct 23, Margarita rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.

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A densely researched book with seamlessly woven together information. Regardless of your party leaning, you'll enjoy this one if you are politically minded. It fundamentally concentrates on how Trudeau developed his political identity starting with his student years through to the early part of his career.

An interesting look at both the rise to power of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and the changing political scene in Quebec from the s through the s. In some places, the narrative is slightly repetitive and clumsy as it jumps back and forth in time, but overall a very well-written, cogent story. English tends to "explain," rather than analyze, Trudeau, but he remains clear-eyed throughout the book. I'm looking forward to volume II. Sep 03, George Walker rated it really liked it. I read this for research into my wordless book about Trudeau. As our 15th prime minister you may love him or hate him but his views and impact on Canadian culture and politics have had a lasting impact.

His name still animates public debate about his contributions to Canadian politics and policy. His flamboyant personality and passion for politics has made him an icon and his memory lives on through those of us who lived through those times. Trudeau now belongs to the historians.

Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume One: 1919-1968

Some reviews found this book stodgy. Not for me it wasn't.

English isn't one for grand pronouncements certainly but he handles Trudeau with justice. Trudeau's latent anti-semitism is shocking and isolation from world events but he doesn't overrate these things.