In 1912, Stephen Leacock''s comic masterpiece Sunshine
Sketches of a Little Town made him an international star
overnight. He was published in magazines and newspapers across
Canada and in New York and London. Charlie Chaplin asked him for a
screenplay; a young F. Scott Fitzgerald expressed his admiration.
Eminent historian Margaret MacMillan argues that, while much of
what Leacock satirized in small-town Canada has disappeared, his
humour endures. His skewering of pretension and his
self-deprecating wit entertained thousands during his heyday, even
as it defined a quintessentially Canadian stance. But Leacock,
MacMillan points out, was also a public intellectual, engaged with
questions about government, war, and a just society. Writing with
her usual brio, MacMillan has created a wonderfully insightful and
affectionate portrait of a man who mattered.