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Extraordinary Canadians:Stephen Leacock by…
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Extraordinary Canadians:Stephen Leacock (edition 2009)

by Margaret MacMillan (Author)

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192791,652 (3.9)4
Member:c_why
Title:Extraordinary Canadians:Stephen Leacock
Authors:Margaret MacMillan (Author)
Info:Penguin Canada (2009), Edition: 1st Edition, 192 pages
Collections:Finished, Your library, Read but unowned, Canadian
Rating:*****
Tags:biography--author--Canadian, Leacock Stephen--biog.

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Stephen Leacock by Margaret MacMillan

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Lovely to "live" in the era that was just about over when I was a very young child. I can still see actual concrete bits of these times in the occasional piece of architecture or a tiny, shady park. Every sentence in this book, Margaret MacMillan brings alive all of these things that I sensed, witnessed,or partially knew. What a great trip! Much later I attended "his" university -- McGill, where his footsteps had pretty much faded. What an incongruous fellow. So much detail. Learned lots of the things about the "behind the scenes" Leacock. Now time to re-read "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town" Best of all he laid the the groundwork for some of my favourite Canadian authors (esp. Mordecai Richler) and Canadian humour overall. Puncture the smug. Search for the solid realities. ( )
  c_why | May 21, 2019 |
A Most Extraordinary Canadian

I'm ashamed to admit as a Canadian that I did not know who Stephen Leacock was before reading this short biography by Margaret MacMillan. The book is not an exhaustive look, but more of a biographical essay touching on some of the highlights of the writer, academic, philosopher, and government advisor.

What I appreciated mostly about the book is MacMillan's ability to contextualize Leacock's accomplishments as well as his faults. For example, we shouldn't fault him for what we today would view as his retrograde views on gender and race -- Leacock was a man of his time.

The most informative section were Leacock's philosophies on the role of education, and specifically the value of a liberal arts education as compared to the modern sciences. As someone who has both, I wholeheartedly agree with Leacock's assertion.

Overall, this is a very fair and balanced look at an incredible man who lived through the beginnings of Canada as a nation. ( )
  bruchu | Jun 7, 2009 |
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