One of Canada’s best-known and most-honoured biographers turns to the raw material of his own life in Writing History. A university professor, prolific scholar, public intellectual, and frank critic of the world he has known, Michael Bliss draws on extensive personal diaries to describe a life that has taken him from small-town Ontario in the 1950s to international recognition for his books in Canadian and medical history. His memoir ranges remarkably widely: it encompasses social history, family tragedy, a critical insider’s view of university life, Canadian national politics, and, above all, a rare glimpse into the craftsmanship that goes into the research and writing of history in our time.
Whether writing about pigs and millionaires, the discovery of insulin, sleazy Canadian politicians, or the founders of modern medicine and brain surgery, Michael Bliss is noted for the clarity of his prose, the honesty of his opinions, and the breadth of his literary interests.
About the author
Michael Bliss was a Canadian historian and a University Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and the History of Medicine Program at the University of Toronto. He was the author of numerous award-winning books in business and political history as well as the history of medicine, including popular biographies of Sir Frederick Banting, Sir William Osler, and Harvey Cushing. He was an Officer of the Order of Canada, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the first historian to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Weaving his private life, politics, social movements, university affairs and his professional career into a unified texture, supported by decades of journal writing where he vented and recorded his life, Bliss offers an engaging memoir, fast paced and well written and very hard to put down.
Literary Review of Canada
…a readable, entertaining, and at times, surprising chronicle of the life (so far) of one of Canada’s best known academics.
Other titles by Michael Bliss
The Discovery of Insulin
Special Centenary Edition
Right Honourable Men
The Descent of Canadian Politics from MacDonald to Chrétien
The Making of Modern Medicine
Turning Points in the Treatment of Disease
A Life in Surgery
Right Honourable Men Updated Reissue
A Life in Medicine
Conscience and History
A Canadian Millionaire
The Life and Business Times of Sir Joseph Flavelle, Bart., 1858-1939
Social Planning for Canada
The 1935 classic of Canadian socialist thought