Mavericks: Canadian Rebels, Renegades and Anti-Heroes

Mavericks: Canadian Rebels, Renegades and Anti-Heroes

Peter C. Newman

Language: English

Pages: 392


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Peter C. Newman’s poison pen has lodged itself in the viscera of the Canadian elite. In Mavericks, he has selected his most evocative writing about those Canadians who run against the grain on the grandest scale, including Conrad Black, Garth Drabinsky, the Eaton boys, Louis Riel, Robert Campeau and Peter Nygard. In the world of politics, he takes on Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, René Lévesque, Bill Vander Zalm and Lucien Bouchard. He also includes a vignette about John Diefenbaker from his book Renegade in Power, which Robert Fulford at Saturday Night said “transformed political books and to some extent political writing in this country.”

Mavericks, together with its companion volume, Heroes, makes up the ultimate Newman, capturing his best and most provocative words during a career that spans more than fifty years.

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run for re-election, that he planned to discipline his generals involved in black market operations and outlined, in some detail, the complicity of the Kennedy administration in the overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem. “I liked Thieu,” Conrad recalled. “He showed me around the palace. He was obviously a bit of a rascal, but I admired his courage. My interview turned out to be one of the biggest news stories of the war.” (After being published first in Sherbrooke, the Thieu story made front-page

crucial moment of a deal, then expiring from an overdose of non sequiturs. Nelson Skalbania was different. He looks as if he played the title role in a road company of Jesus Christ, Superstar, with messianic beard, beseeching eyes and the inner calm of a spaced-out yoga adept. There’s something very theatrical about the man. He expresses himself in drawn-out mock sighs, the habitual gambler in him hostage to another, more rational self. He seems filled with cinematic sorrow that more people

Canadian sport”). He loves to show off his knowledge. “Andreotti is interesting,” he once declared to a roomful of Bay Street regulars who thought he was about to glorify the exploits of some newly arrived Neapolitan chef instead of an Italian prime minister. “Andreotti was possibly the most intelligent head of government in the West. Ironically enough, Italy hasn’t been administered with any degree of efficiency or consistency since the early middle Roman Empire–yet he has staged a heroic feat

force in the early evolution of Canadian economics and politics. His remarkable skill as an international financier made possible the construction of the CPR–a feat that united the countryeconomically as Confederation had politically. During his four decades as governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, he transformed a dominion of wilderness into a highly profitable commercial enterprise. As its president for twenty-seven years, he made the Bank of Montreal Canada’s largest financial institution of

meetings, refusing to appear on radio or TV. Discretion was best, anonymity better. It took me a full year to negotiate our first interview, but I gradually gained his confidence so that he would call me in for lunchtime sessions in his Argus office, both of us sipping Richmello Instant Coffee and munching Dominion Store vanilla cookies, speculating on the state of the world, discussing how fast the country was going down the drain and tabulating who was moving up or down the Canadian corporate

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