Radical Mandarin: The Memoirs of Escott Reid
Published: December 1989© 1989
432 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Ebook - PDF
In the golden age of Canadian diplomacy, during the government of Louis St Laurent and Lester Pearson, Escott Reid played a central role. In this memoir, he recalls some of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century and his own and Canada’s role in them.
Reid’s’ child was steeped in Anglican religiosity and Upper Canadian Britishness. But as a teenager at Oakwood Collegiate and later as a university student at Toronto and Oxford, he showed himself already committed to more Canadian independence from Britain, and to social policies that must have seemed distinctly anti-British to the Toronto establishment.
Throughout his long and distinguished career, Reid continued to display his commitment to his country and its central role in international affairs. The outspoken youth became the outspoken diplomat. Reid served as national secretary of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, High commissioner to India in the early years of its independence, and ambassador to Germany during the construction of the Berlin wall. He participated in the creation of the United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the North Atlantic alliance, and was an officer of the World Bank in the boom years of the 1960s.
Reid offers a wealth of insight into international activities throughout much of the twentieth century activities he helped to shape. This memoir reflects his view of history as progressing toward a greater sharing the world’s wealth and a greater degree of international organization and cooperation.
‘This is a wonderfully lucid, extraordinarily detailed account of the exceptionally useful life of an exceptionally and sometimes inconveniently independent public man. Its lessons on foreign policy, including its account of some elegantly institutionalized stupidities, are important for Canadians, and even more, I think, for Americans.’John Kenneth Galbraith