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Biography & Autobiography General


A Woman in a Man's World

by (author) Flora MacDonald & Geoffrey Stevens

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
General, Political, Women in Politics
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

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Flora Isabel MacDonald – politician, humanitarian, adventurer, and role model for a generation of women – was known across Canada and beyond simply as Flora. In her memoir, co-authored by award-winning journalist and author Geoffrey Stevens, she tells her personal story for the very first time.

Flora! describes her amazing journey from her childhood and her time at secretarial school in Cape Breton, through her years in backroom Progressive Conservative politics, to elected office and her appointment as Canada’s first female minister of foreign affairs. Finally, she details her exceptional humanitarian work in India and in war-torn Africa and Afghanistan. Flora was driven by a lifelong conviction that there is nothing a woman cannot achieve in a world controlled by men, and she pursued this conviction in everything she did, carving a path for women in Parliament. She won international acclaim for bringing 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to Canada, and for engineering the rescue of six American hostages in Tehran in a top-secret collaboration with the CIA known as the Canadian Caper. She exposed the inhumane treatment of inmates at Kingston’s Prison for Women. She defied male chauvinists in the Progressive Conservative party by running for its leadership, and she introduced the Employment Equity Act to guarantee women equal access to federal jobs.

Flora was brave. She was relentless. She was controversial. She was a force of nature. In her own words and drawing from interviews with those who knew her, Flora! grants us insight into this exceptional woman who changed the course of history.

About the authors

Flora MacDonald (1926–2015) was a Canadian politician and humanitarian and Canada's first female minister of foreign affairs.

Flora MacDonald's profile page

Geoffrey Stevens is one of Canada's most experienced political analysts. He has been the Globe and Mail?s Ottawa columnist and managing editor of both the Globe and Maclean's magazine. Author or co-author of four books on political subjects, he teaches political science at Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Guelph.

Geoffrey Stevens' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Flora!: A Woman in a Man’s World is an inspirational presentation of a life of great achievement and feminist trail-blazing. Flora MacDonald was an extraordinary person who had an exemplary career as politician and feminist. This (auto)biography will be essential to preserving her memory.” Sandford Borins, University of Toronto

Flora!: A Woman in a Man’s World is a captivating tale of hopes and dreams, schemes and crushing disappointment. [Steven’s] decision to maintain the first person — writing as Flora might have — lends authenticity and intimacy while dispelling any ideas that this is a purely objective account. What emerges is a proud, private person with fierce determination, a commitment to social justice, and a strong sense of self.” Literary Review of Canada

Other titles by Geoffrey Stevens