Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Favourite Son? John A. Macdonald and the Voters of Kingston 1841-1891

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Favourite Son? John A. Macdonald and the Voters of Kingston 1841-1891

Article excerpt

Ged Martin, Favourite Son? John A. Macdonald and the Voters of Kingston 1841-1891 (Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2010), 196 pp. Paper. $35. ISBN 978-0-919770- 14-0.

During the past decade Ged Martin has written a number of articles revising our understanding of John A. Macdonald's life and political career. This is his most substantial contribution to that project to date. Martin points out that biographies of Macdonald focus on his prominence as a regional and then national politician. In this study Martin attempts to redress the balance with a 'bottom-up' account of Macdonald's electoral fortunes in Kingston, the city that sent him to parliament on 12 occasions. The result is neither a complete account of the life of Macdonald nor a full political history of Kingston but 'an attempt to explore the intersection between the two, to discover what light can be thrown upon the character of Kingston and the personality of its most celebrated citizen' (p. 15). The answer is quite a lot. In many ways the most interesting chapters in the book are the early ones dealing with Macdonald's early years in Kingston. Martin seeks to avoid the 'golden glow of hindsight' and 'retrospective hagiography' that has marked much of what has been written about the young Macdonald (p. 9), in the process making a number of important revisions to our understanding of Macdonald's political evolution. Martin places considerable emphasis on how Macdonald was affected by the rebellion of 1837 and its aftermath and challenges Donald Creighton's account of Macdonald's participation in the 1849 meeting of the British American League in Kingston. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.