Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History General


A Portrait Of A Country And Its People

by (author) Roy MacGregor

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Apr 2007
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2008
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Who are we? Not since the publication of Bruce Hutchison’s bestselling The Unknown Country has there been as ambitious, entertaining, and incisive an answer to that eternal question.

As a journalist and author for more than thirty years, Roy MacGregor has travelled this vast country more than any other Canadian in pursuit of the often elusive national identity. A modern-day Canadian Zelig, he has gained privileged entrée into the most interesting and significant moments in recent Canadian history, and spent time with some of its most memorable people.

In this perceptive and entertaining work, MacGregor takes the full measure of Canadian life as he has known and observed it. Against the backdrop of pivotal events such as Meech Lake, the funeral of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and the 2006 Winter Olympics, and in a sparkling blend of historical, anecdotal, and reflective writing, MacGregor captures essential truths about who we are and what makes us tick, shedding light on everything from hockey, our “national id,” to our highly exportable, and perhaps highly debatable, sense of humour, to our ever-shifting self-image, both at home and abroad. With trenchant wit and deep intelligence, he maps the fault lines of our national psyche, finding it rife with contradiction on everything from our attachment to the land to our fatalism about the future, our complex relationship with each other to our on-again, off-again affair with our neighbour to the south.

Learned in perception, deft in delivery, Canadians is a love letter, a wakeup call, a session on the couch, and a celebration of the richness and diversity of this country and its people.

About the author

In the fall of 2006, Roy MacGregor, veteran newspaperman, magazine writer, and author of books, came to campus. Since 2002, MacGregor had been writing columns for the Globe and Mail, but he had a long and distinguished career in hand before he came to the national newspaper. He has won National Newspaper Awards and in 2005 was named an officer in the Order of Canada. He is the author of more than 40 books — 28 of them in the internationally successful Screech Owls mystery series for young readers — on subjects ranging from Canada, to the James Bay Cree, to hockey. That fall, he spoke to a packed room in the St. Thomas chapel. After the lecture, Herménégilde Chiasson, the Acadian poet, artist, and New Brunswick's Lieutenant Governor of the day, hosted a reception at the majestic Old Government House on the banks of the St. John River. MacGregor spent the evening surrounded by young journalists and the conversation continued late into the night. After all, there were more than three decades of stories to tell.

Roy MacGregor's profile page

Other titles by Roy MacGregor

Related lists