Sam Steele, “the man who tamed the Gold Rush,” had a high-profile public career, yet his private life has been closely protected. Sam Steele: A Biography follows Steele’s rise from farm boy in backwoods Ontario to the much-lauded Major General Sir Samuel Benfield Steele. Drawing on the vast Steele archive at the University of Alberta, this comprehensive biography vividly recounts some of the most significant events of the first fifty years of Canadian Confederation—including the founding of the North-West Mounted Police, the opening of the North through the Klondike, and Canada’s participation in the South African War—from the perspective of a policeman who became a military leader. Impeccably researched and accessibly written, Sam Steele is perfect for anyone interested in Canada’s early decades.
"...Steele owed much of his career success to his simple approach to life—see what must be done, find the most practical way to do it, apply yourself with full energy and dedication.... Steele played a considerable role in a time full of huge change.... It’s a story worth telling. Macleod’s solid research and clear writing also make it a story worth reading." January 30, 2019 [Full article at https://www.edmontonprimetimes.com/article/the-original-man-of-steele-20190130]
"Rod Macleod has been thorough in his research, making extensive use of Samuel's diaries and personal papers now housed at the University of Alberta. The book is well written and places Steele in his proper role as Mounted Police frontiersman."
"...Steele emerges as a three-dimensional character, much more lively and realistic, than the self-portrait earnestly provided in his autobiography, Forty Years in Canada.... Rod Macleod is to be warmly congratulated for his excellent biography of an important Anglo-Canadian public figure in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."
"This book is a detailed treatment of the entire life of Sam Steele, informed and enhanced by new information held within the Steele collection. The breadth of Steele’s accomplishments encompass the opening of the west and north as Canada grew into nationhood after confederation."