People, Politics, and Purpose
Biography is “not on the periphery of history but in the middle of it,” historian Peter Waite astutely remarked. People, Politics, and Purpose brings the historian’s myriad tools to bear on Canadians, from prime ministers to lumberjacks to Indigenous leaders. Drawing on the rich details of biography – the what – the contributors also address the larger questions of motivation – the so what – that drive history. In the process, they prove the value of analyzing both macro- and micro-dynamics within Canadian politics and society to illuminate the roles of political actors. As such, the biographies in People, Politics, and Purpose are not simply stories about the lives of individuals but critical reflections on subjects who are directly involved in, and affected by, politics in Canada. This book makes for lively reading that stimulates fresh thinking about political biography and the direction of political history more generally.