Extraordinary Canadians: Tommy Douglas

Extraordinary Canadians: Tommy Douglas

by Vincent 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143180432
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication date: 03/08/2011
Series: Extraordinary Canadians
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 204
File size: 281 KB

About the Author

Dr. Vincent Lam is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam. Trained in Toronto, he is an emergency physician and a lecturer at the University of Toronto. His first book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Lam is the co-author of The Flu Pandemic and You, which received an award from the American Medical Writers Association in 2007. He and his family live in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Introduction John Ralston Saul xi

1 The Greatest Canadian 1

2 Practical Christian, 1904-24 8

3 Boy Preacher, 1924-31 29

4 Reluctant Candidate, 1931-35 47

5 Member of Parliament, 1935-45 71

6 A New Premier, 1940-45 96

7 The CCF in Power, 1945-60 122

8 Universal Health Care, 1944-62 151

9 Return to Ottawa, 1961-71 175

10 The October Crisis, 1970 192

11 Looking to the Future, 1971-86 201

Postscript 219

Sources 222

Acknowledgments 227

Chronology 229

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