Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Nation Maker: Sir John A.... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Crisp, clean pages, clean cover, tight binding. Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times Hardcover – September 27, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$37.00
$22.51 $1.43

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: The Most Revealing Portrait of a President and Presidential Power Ever Written by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream
The beloved work of popular author: Doris Kearns Goodwin. Learn more | See related books
$37.00 FREE Shipping. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times
  • +
  • John A: The Man Who Made Us
Total price: $56.50
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

WINNER 2012 – Writers’ Trust of Canada Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
WINNER 2012 – Dafoe Book Prize
FINALIST 2011 – Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2011 – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2011 – Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction
FINALIST 2011 – Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction
A Globe and Mail Best Book

“Having digested prodigious quantities of research, and woven his knowledge into a seamless and stylish whole, Gwyn…has given us a first prime minister for the 21st century…. A towering achievement, a glittering career-capper, and it may prove impossible to beat.”
—Ken McGoogan, The Globe and Mail
 
“All the key historical characters are deftly described, which contributes hugely to making this book such an engaging read…. Nation Maker brings a fresh, welcome perspective to the life of our founding father. Anyone who reads it will no longer be able to take this powerful, charismatic, and dedicated man for granted.”
—Quill & Quire (starred review)
 
“Gwyn knows how to tell a good story…. This is John A., warts and all.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

“It was widely expected that the veteran journalist Richard Gwyn would write an extremely readable biography of Sir John A. Macdonald, and he has. It was expected that his books would address many recent Canadian issues, and they do. What particularly surprises and delights students of Canadian political history, however, is the amount of new material Gwyn has uncovered about the life and political times of the country’s first Prime Minister. If he does not know absolutely everything about Sir John A., Richard Gwyn knows far more than any previous biographer, including Donald Creighton. In a tour de force of research, he has mastered the sources, weaves them beautifully into his text, and presents to us a more lifelike, more credible Macdonald than we had previously imagined. In passing Richard Gwyn puts a generation of Canadian political historians to shame with his scholarship and energy. Thanks to him we now have a John A. Macdonald for twenty-first century Canada.”
—Michael Bliss

“Charming, difficult, far-sighted, devious, Sir John A. Macdonald was a master politician who spoke to Canadians in a way that few others have ever done. Writing with his usual elegance and insight, Richard Gwyn has done full justice to the man whose own story is inextricably interwoven with that of Canada.”
—Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919

About the Author

RICHARD GWYN is an award-winning author and political columnist. He is widely known as a commentator for the Toronto Star on national and international affairs and as a frequent contributor to television and radio programs. His books include two highly praised biographies, Smallwood: The Unlikely Revolutionary on Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood, and The Northern Magus on Pierre Elliott Trudeau. His book, Nationalism Without Walls: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian, was selected by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important books published in Canada. The first volume of Gwyn's biography of Macdonald was published in 2007, became a national bestseller and won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307356442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307356444
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
71%
4 star
29%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 7 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Nation Maker is an excellent look at the man and the times. It is 'moist' book, personal and colloquial rather than a dry and analytical historical survey. With Volume 1, it provides a sprawling epic of Canada's founding.

John A. was a flawed man, at times a drunkard, erratic, melancholic, politically unscrupulous, who greased the machinery of governance with patronage. He was, however, a man who could get things done. From disparate ethnic and religious groups, he cobbled together a national consensus that flew in the face of the overwhelming logic of Canada's annexation to the U.S.; of those whose sole common goal was the avoidance of that fate.

Fractious from the start these groups were motivated by allegiances (as British or French, Protestant or Catholic), most of whom were far more bitter towards their confreres than to an anomalous American threat.. and whose motives, fears, and prejudices were not easily reconciled. The era was marked by tension between radical religious polarities, notably the Ultramontane and Orange Order. The virulently anti-British Fenians represented an external and internal threat to Canada, and produced Canada's first and only political assassination, of D'Arcy McGee, the poet laureate of Canada's founding.

McGee and Georges Etienne Cartier provided a vital force of charismatic idealism that counterbalanced McDonald's acerbic expediency, and formed the foundation of a French, English political accord. It was MacDonald who provided the prose to this poetic idyll. By nature MacDonald was practical and flexible, not a visionary in the utopian sense or an ideologue.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Brewer on November 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I seldom become enthused by a biography but Richard Gwyn has provided a masterful study of the man who made Canada a nation. I don't think I've ever used the word riveting with a biography but this one is.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was one of the best history books I have read in years. Terrific insights into the politics and life of those times and the personality that was Sir John A. Wonderfully written, never dull, the sections about Louis Riel particularly poignant. And above all, to realize how close we came to becoming part of the USA - but didn't - was astonishing to behold. Lots to learn and appreciate from this terrific book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Beary39 on September 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has done an excellent job of creating a detailed view of Sir John but also an excellent overview of the beginnings of Canada .This book along with his first book should be recommended reading for school history classes because he encapsulates all the changes that occurred in British NA from the War of 1812 on until the 1890's.Our history has been told in a masterful easy to read way hitting all the right areas without being pedantic .I was aware of much of the material but Gyn has managed to bring out all the subtleties 0f the times
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times