John A, The Man Who Made Us
Written by Richard J. Gwyn
Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication Date: September 25, 2007
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Charles Taylor Prize

Winner, 2008 Charles Taylor Prize
for Literary Non-Fiction


John A, The Man Who Made Us
The Life and Times of John A. Macdonald
Vol. One: 1815-1867

The first full-scale biography in half a century of Canada's first, and most-important, Prime Minister.

This book - the first of two - by Richard Gwyn, one of Canada's most highly-regarded political commentators and author of the acclaimed study of Pierre Trudeau, The Northern Magus, follows Macdonald's life from his birth in Scotland, his coming to Canada as a boy with his parents, his entry into law and then into politics, the tragedies of his personal life and then the triumph of Confederation. Gwyn comments, "All but certainly, no Macdonald, no Canada."

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In March, 2008, John A; The Man Who Made Us, was awarded the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, from among 139 entries. This is Canada's premiere prize for non-fiction and is valued at $25,000.

“Judging by the first half, his two-volume biography will no doubt be ranked with Donald Creighton’s two-book landmark from the 1950s…Gwyn provides a more dispassionate analysis of this complicated man and his times…A welcome addition to the national library.”

Peter Moreira, The National Post

“A vivid, multi-dimensional portrait of a fascinating character and his times…Gwyn, his trademark wry wit enlivening his text, brings a lifetime of political punditry to bear on his subject, surely one of the most intriguing political figures Canada even produced”

Doug Sweet, Montreal Gazette