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Biography & Autobiography Political

Close to Charisma

My Years Between the Press and Pierre Elliott Trudeau

by (author) Patrick Gossage

Formac Publishing Company Limited
Initial publish date
Jan 1987
Political, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1987
    List Price

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Patrick Gossage went to work for Pierre Trudeau as a press secretary in 1976. "You were so green," Trudeau reminisced years later. That very innocence gives a remarkable freshness to these first-hand observations of the Trudeau years.
Gossage's diary--his impressions of the media people, politicians and backroom operators he worked with every day--provides a remarkable portrait of the period. He records some of Trudeau's most difficult moments: the victory of the PQ in Quebec, the break-up of his marriage, electoral defeat at the hands of Joe Clark. Gossage also portrays some of Trudeau's triumphs: the patriation of the Constitution, his remarkable peace initiative during the Reagan presidency.
Close to the Charisma offers an insider's view of the workings of official Ottawa that is unusual for its candour and wit.

About the author

Patrick Gossage lays no claim on being a good man, but forty years ago the young University of Toronto graduate felt he indeed had a calling to become a priest and spent a year at Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass. finding out he was not cut out for organized religion. The idea of what it might have been started him exploring thoughts for this book over three years ago. Drawing on his seminary year, and experiences as diverse as his years as a television producer at CBC and CTV, as press secretary to Pierre Trudeau, and as head of his own successful public relations company, Gossage found creating Father Pat, Terry and Dierdre drew down his life in a unique and satisfying way. Gossage's well-received memoirs of his years with Trudeau, Close to the Charisma was published in 1986. He is also a prolific book reviewer and commentator on politics and the media and a regular television panelist. His own red canoe rests at the family cottage at Lake of Bays, Muskoka.

Patrick Gossage's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Gossipy, observant."

Toronto Sun

"Admirable freshness ... entertaining reading."

Ottawa Citizen

"What makes it fun to read is its emotion and honesty."

Globe and Mail

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