In this masterful and engaging biography, acclaimed journalist Steve Paikin brings to life John Turner (1929-2020), one of the most glamorous and successful politicians in Canadian history.
Born in England, raised in BC, Turner was a champion sprinter and a Rhodes scholar who captured the national imagination as escort for Princess Margaret on her 1959 Canadian tour. Elected to Parliament in 1962, he served in Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s cabinet and as Pierre Trudeau’s attorney general, minister of justice, and finance minister. In 1984, he won a hotly-contested Liberal leadership contest and served a brief four months as Canada’s seventeenth prime minister before falling to Brian Mulroney in a Progressive Conservative landslide.
In this surprisingly candid and personal book, Paikin draws on unprecedented access to Turner’s personal and public papers to show how he struggled to meet the towering expectations that came with his abundant gifts, and keep his faith in Canadian democracy despite the challenges of his own career.