Extraordinary Canadians: Tommy Douglas: A Penguin Lives Biography

Hardcover | March 8, 2011

byVincent Lam

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Once voted the greatest Canadian of all time, Tommy Douglas was a prairie politician who believed in democratic socialism, the crucial role of civil rights, and the great potential of cooperation for the common good. He is best known as the “Father of Medicare.” Born in 1904, Douglas was a championship boxer and a Baptist minister who later exchanged his pulpit for a political platform. A powerful orator and tireless activist, he sat first as a federal MP and then served for 17 years as premier of Saskatchewan, where he introduced the universal health-insurance system that would eventually be adopted across Canada. As leader of the national NDP, he was a staunch advocate of programs such as the Canada Pension Plan and was often the conscience of Parliament on matters of civil liberties. In the process, he made democratic socialism a part of mainstream Canadian political life. Giller Prize–winning author Vincent Lam, an emergency physician who works on the front lines of the health-care system, brings a novelist's eye to the life of one of Canada's greats.

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Once voted the greatest Canadian of all time, Tommy Douglas was a prairie politician who believed in democratic socialism, the crucial role of civil rights, and the great potential of cooperation for the common good. He is best known as the “Father of Medicare.” Born in 1904, Douglas was a championship boxer and a Baptist minister who ...

John Ralston Saul is Canada’s leading public intellectual. Declared a “prophet” by Time magazine, Saul has received many awards and prizes, including Chile’s Pablo Neruda Medal. He is president of PEN International, an organization dedicated to freedom of expression. He has published fourteen works, which have been translated into twen...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.05 × 5.4 × 0.84 inPublished:March 8, 2011Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670068519

ISBN - 13:9780670068517

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extraordinary Canadians Success! Vincent Lam's biography on Tommy Douglas is one of the better books in the Penguin Extraordinary Canadians series. We get both a good understanding of Douglas and those events in his life that likely influenced him. As one would expect, Douglas' leadership in the development of government-funded medical care is well covered but so are his views and role in other key Canadian historical events (e.g. War Measures Act). Lam's writing style is fluent and keeps the reader engaged. He makes reading about history interesting even for those who are not history buffs. If you're interested in Douglas or the start of the CCF/NDP party, this book will serve as a great introduction to both. An enjoyable book, even if you're political preference is more to the right.
Date published: 2011-04-14

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Editorial Reviews

"These books are…opportunities to deepen the relationship between Canadians of the past and Canadians of the present. May this dialogue continue, so that today’s biographers themselves will be the subject of the next wave of writers.” - The Globe and Mail“[the series is] entertaining, literary and informative." - The National Post“The books would be a lovely addition to any library…they’re accessible and ready to be read by all.” - The Sunday Herald