Mike: The Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson, Volume Two: 1948-1957
Published: November 2015© 2015
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 372 Pages
Dimensions: 6.02 x 9.02
372 Pages, 6.02 x 9.02 x 0.90 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. In the second volume of his memoirs, he provides a first-person account of the busy and challenging decade that followed his entry into politics in 1948.
This volume, completed after Pearson’s death under the supervision of his son Geoffrey, recounts his involvement in Canadian politics and diplomacy as a MP and Secretary of State for External Affairs during the early years of the Cold War. It offers his perspective on issues such as the formation of NATO, Canada’s involvement in the Korean War, and the diplomacy that ended the Suez Crisis and earned Pearson the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. Two appendices, taken from his diaries, show him hard at work at the United Nations during the Korean crisis.
Mike captures Pearson’s intellect, his sense of humour, and his humanity, offering an inside look at the moments that shaped the twentieth century. This new edition features a foreword by Pearson cabinet minister and former prime minister Jean Chrétien.
i / Politics and Politicians
2 / Sovereignty is not enough
3 / Atlantic Vision
4 / NATO at Work
5 / The New Commonwealth
6 / At the United Nations
7 / Korea: Response to Aggression
8 / Korea: The Search for Peace
9 / A Visit to Mr Khrushchev
10 / From Palestine to Suez
11 / Crisis and Resolution
‘[Mike] tells the first-hand story of that heady time, and tells it superbly well.’ Peter Newman
‘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
‘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