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Elusive Destiny: The Political Vocation of John Napier Turner

Overview

A political biography extraordinaire, Elusive Destiny reveals the inner workings of the Liberal Party in its heyday as charted through the meteoric rise and fall of John Napier Turner. It highlights Turner's vision for the country and tallies the political price he paid when he deviated from the Trudeau legacy on matters such as language rights, social spending, and Quebec. It also provides a new perspective on federal politics from the 1960s through the 1980s while giving John Turner his rightful place in ...

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Overview

A political biography extraordinaire, Elusive Destiny reveals the inner workings of the Liberal Party in its heyday as charted through the meteoric rise and fall of John Napier Turner. It highlights Turner's vision for the country and tallies the political price he paid when he deviated from the Trudeau legacy on matters such as language rights, social spending, and Quebec. It also provides a new perspective on federal politics from the 1960s through the 1980s while giving John Turner his rightful place in Canadian history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This is an important book, presenting not only a former prime minister but also a man who was at the centre of many of the defining issues of the 1980s in Canada, including Meech Lake and the free trade debates. The narrative is compelling and contains rich new material of interest to scholars and general readers alike. Clearly John Turner is a man who found himself in the right place at the wrong time - brought down partly by personal failings, but more significantly by a combination of bad luck and the deliberate acts of rivals. - Brooke Jeffrey, former Liberal adviser and author of Divided Loyalties: The Liberal Party of Canada, 1984-2008

There is much in this biography that I witnessed personally - from John Turner's friendship with my father to his very successful tenure as finance minister; from his leadership of the Liberal Party to his integrity, his belief in the political process, and his love of country. There is also much that I viewed only from afar. The insights to be gained from reading this book will be important to anyone interested in the events and debates that signposted the evolution of postwar Canada. John Turners' is a life well worth knowing and this fascinating book is well worth reading.

- The Right Honourable Paul Martin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780774822640
  • Publisher: University of British Columbia Press
  • Publication date: 12/22/2011
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword John English vii

Introduction: The Right Man at the Wrong Time 1

Part 1 Liberal Apprentice, 1929-68

1 The Making of an Extrovert 11

2 Circling Home 30

3 Getting Ahead in Canadian Politics 46

4 Shoals of Candidacy 63

5 Close to Power 75

Part 2 Master Politician, 1968-79

6 Driving the Omnibus 95

7 Implementing the Just Society 107

8 Apprehended Insurrection 121

9 Intranational Diplomacy 133

10 Shokkul 150

11 The Price of Gas 166

12 Stalking Stagflation 185

13 Citizen Turner 204

Part 3 Leadership, 1979-88

14 A Myth and a Muddle 219

15 Oiling the Tinman 231

16 Prime Minister for a Day 250

17 Things Fall Apart 266

18 The Road Back 288

19 Participatory Democracy 307

20 Creature from the Black Lagoon 324

21 Image, Substance, and Subversion 347

22 Mad Dog and Businessmen 364

Conclusion: Legacies and Might-Have-Beens 389

Notes 408

Selected Bibliography 463

Acknowledgments 471

Illustration Credits 474

Index 477

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