For political buffs, this is a fascinating view of the politics of the Diefenbaker-Pearson-Trudeau era, including backroom information never before published. For media buffs, its an inside view of the politics of our leading newspapers, and a critical analysis of modern journalism by one who helped to invent it. For those concerned with the great public issues of our times, it’s a controversial account of where constitutional reform went wrong and of how we got to free trade by a journalist who played a significant role in the national debate.
But this is more than the record of a professional life. It’s also the personal story of a motherless boy growing up in Britain, his wartime experiences with the Royal Navy, and his decision to emigrate to Canada, with a young family in tow, after publisher Lord Beaverbrook declared the young scribe unfit for promotion because he was the wrong shape: "Small head, big feet, won’t do."
Anthony Westell was a legendary political journalist from the 1950s onward. He was a member of the Globe and Mail's editorial board, and later its Ottawa Bureau Chief, a national affairs columnist at the Toronto Star, editor of the Literary Review of Canada, and served as a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He taught journalism at Carleton University, becoming associate dean and later director of the School of Journalism and Communication there. He died on April 1, 2017.
A crucial fork in the road of our national history.