Memoirs and Reflections

Roy McMurtry. Univ. of Toronto (UTP, North American dist.), $45 (562p) ISBN 978-1-4426-4830-2
McMurtry's memoir provides a self-portrait of a man who was at the center of major events in Canada's recent history. Behind the varied career was a man driven by compassion. His work as a reformist defense lawyer, attorney-general of Ontario, member of provincial parliament (Ontario), high commissioner of the United Kingdom and chief justice of Ontario, to name only a few, often took him to the epicenter of events that reshaped Canada, from the partition of the constitution from Britain to the recent recognition of same-sex marriage. McMurtry provides accounts of controversial legal cases such as a nurse wrongly charged with murdering babies and notorious police raids on Toronto bathhouses in to explain his perspective. But these perceived missteps are outweighed by his contributions to women's rights and race relations. A "Red Tory," McMurtry is an heir to a now eclipsed conservative tradition that embraced ideals of humanitarianism and the common good quite alien to the strain that currently dominates. His autobiography is a poignant reminder of a lost era when conservatives were "Progressive" and a heart-warming account of a man whom history will no doubt record left Canada a better place than he found it. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 582 pages - 978-1-4426-2902-8
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