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were right, there would be little point to either Spettigue's or her own research; fortunately, she is not right, and these two books provide an excellent biographical foundation for the study of one of Canada's finest novelists and surely her most complex and provocative literary personality. C W.]. KEITH ) Lester B. Pearson, Mike: The Memoirs of the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson 11. University of Toronto Press, xi, 344, $12.50 This second volume of the Pearson memoirs will remain the most important account of Canadian foreign policy in the critical years 1948 to 1957; and mare than that, for it is a detailed and documented demonstraiion of methods of diplomacy as conducted by one of the most respected foreign ministers of his day. It is not intended to suggest that it is a book of concern only to specialists - valuable as they will find it - for it tells a story of problems, places, and people that should attract a wide range of readers. The light-hearted banter of the first volume appears only occasionally in the second, and properly so, for what was appropriate to his youth is less so in years of heavy responsibility. If, however, there is not so much fun the narrative is always lively and interesting, and free from the jargon of the trade. Mr Pearson did not live to complete the book himself, but the two editors, John Munro and Alex. Inglis, had for some time worked closely with him as research assistants. For those parts of the book which Pearson did not write they had unusually ample sources. Unlike some ministers he was accustomed to write his Own speeches, and in addition left diaries, memoranda, and reports. Since all these were for the most part in finished style rather than in the semi-shorthand intelligible only to the author, the editors have been able to leave the book in the fi rst person singular. They have, they explain, added only 'bridging' material, ensuring that judgments were those of Mr Pearson. They have performed their task with such skill that it would be difficult, without the list in the introduction, to distinguish between those chapters which Pearson wrote or drafted and those made up of what he had earlier written for other purposes. Indeed the early chapters, which he wrote but had little opportunity to redse, are in some cases less successful than later ones, also in his own words, but set down in the heat of events. After a first chapter on the new experience of a parliamentary election, followed by another explaining Canadian polic), during the time in which Pearson was minister, come two chapters on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, these being borne down by a half-hearted defence of Article 41 6 LETTERS IN CANADA 2. This Canadian contribution, providing for economic as well as military relations, was, he admits, a dead letter from the start and advanced in part for reaSOns of domestic politics. The chapters on the new commonwealth and the United Nations have many interesting passages, including thumbnail sketches of leading personalities. The account of Pearson's visit to the Soviet Union in 1955 makes good reading. In the Crimea he met Krushchev, 'the squat tough-looking Ukrainian peasant' and Bulganin, with his 'courtly manners and aristocratic appearance.' Historically the most important portions of the book are those on Korea and the Middle East. On the first are two chapters in which the available records were not readily integrated as narrative and two long memoranda added as appendices. T aken together they may be studied both for the substance of the question and for the minister's methods. H e will, however, be most widely remembered for his part in the problem of Palestine and the Suez crisis. The Holy Land, he recalled, had been the subject of his Sunday school lessons - these simple touches happily recur - and he remained convinced that there must be a Jewish state in some fonn in Palestine. From that point to the affair of the Aswan High Dam and the military intervention of Israel, France, and England Mr Pearson played a leading role in international efforts to secure and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 415-416
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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