Mike: The Memoirs of the Rt. Hon.Lester B. Pearson, Volume One: 1897-1948
Published: November 2015© 2015
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 326 Pages
Dimensions: 6.01 x 9.00
326 Pages, 6.01 x 9.00 x 0.78 in
One of Canada’s most dynamic prime ministers, Lester B. Pearson lived a life which took him from a childhood in rural Ontario to the apex of international politics. The first volume of his memoirs follows him from his youth as the son of a Methodist preacher to his decision to enter politics in 1948.
In this volume of Mike, Pearson recalls his university years at the University of Toronto and St. John’s College, Oxford, his military service in the First World War, and his return to the University of Toronto in 1923 to teach history and, in his spare time, coach football and hockey. In 1928, Pearson joined the Department of External Affairs, rapidly rising through the ranks to become ambassador to the United States by 1945.
Mike captures Pearson’s intellect, his sense of humour, and his humanity, offering a charming look at the youth of a great statesman. This new edition features a foreword by Pearson cabinet minister and former prime minister Jean Chrétien.
1 / Background and Boyhood
2 / Touched by War
3 / Finding a Future
4 / Into 'External'
5 / The International Stage
6 / Canada House in London
7 / The Drift to War
8 / War Years in London
9 / Canadian War Problems
10 / Ottawa Interlude
11 / On to Washington
12. / Made Excellent
13 / Preparing for Peace
14 / The Birth of the United Nations
15 / Minister of the Crown
‘[Mike] tells the first-hand story of that heady time, and tells it superbly well.’ Peter Newman, Globe and Mail
‘To anyone attuned to the ripple of humour, these are some of the funniest memoirs produced by a man of action. They are certainly some of the best written.’ C.P. Snow, Financial Times
‘Lester Pearson was prime minister for only five turbulent years, but through determined leadership he left an indelible mark upon his nation. His memoirs with their endearing self-deprecating wit, polished prose, and perceptive sketches of people and places stand in the front rank of prime ministerial memoirs. Our greatest diplomat, Pearson combined a realist’s and a veteran’s understanding of the inevitability of conflict with an idealist’s insistence on a world where rules and decency prevailed. In Canada and the world he strove to lay in place the foundations of what he called the empire of peace, and few provided so many bricks for that still unfinished structure.’ John English, Director, Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, University of Toronto