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Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

J.D.M. Stewart

J.D.M. Stewart is the author of Being Prime Minister. He lives in Toronto, where he’s writing a new history of Canadian prime ministers.

Articles by
J.D.M. Stewart


Foreign policy from the top down May 2024
One has to admire Patrice Dutil and his body of work about prime ministers. Over the past decade or so, he has written or edited Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies (with Roger Hall), Prime Ministerial Power in Canada: Its Origins under Macdonald, Laurier, and Borden, and The Unexpected Louis St‑Laurent: Politics and Policies for a Modern Canada

Poll Focus

Insights and hindsights on elections past May 2023
Sir John A. Macdonald once quipped that elections are like horse races: you can tell more about them when the results are in. The 2022 Kentucky Derby helped prove the point when a prohibitive underdog, Rich Strike, a nag not even on the starting list until the day before, came from twenty-one lengths back to win the…

Golden Boy

The life of John Turner January | February 2023
Books on prime ministers seem to be a hot item these days. The Unexpected Louis St-Laurent, a collection of essays about one of the country’s most effective leaders, edited by Patrice Dutil, appeared in 2020. And last year, in what may well be a first for publishing in this country, three books hit the shelves chronicling the lives of former PMs: Michael Hill’s The Lost Prime Ministers

With Letters of Commission

Reconsidering the state of the federation April 2022
In exploring a subject that may not have an immediate hook or a wide audience, the authors of The Rowell-Sirois Commission and the Remaking of Canadian Federalism were astute enough to start with an obvious question. “Why,” Robert Wardhaugh and Barry Ferguson ask, “write a book on a Canadian royal commission established in the 1930s?” It’s not as though Newton Rowell and Joseph…

Rocket Men

It’s going to be a long, long time December 2021
On a warm October night this past fall, the storied Toronto Argonauts hosted one of their perennial division rivals, the Ottawa Redblacks. COVID‑19 restrictions limited capacity for the event to 15,000 fans. It was a Wednesday, which can be a tough sale for most teams, but especially for the Argos. One has to wonder what sharp minds at the CFL head office decided to schedule a mid-week game for a club in need of every break it can…

Copy Cats

A little from column A, a little from column B June 2021
On the cover of Norman Webster’s Newspapering is a red Parker Jotter, the vintage pen with the famous clicker on top. On the front of Robert Fulford’s A Life in Paragraphs is an illustration, by Seth, of a pipe-smoking man who is banging away with two fingers on what looks like an Olympia…

Lives Less Ordinary

Peter Mansbridge's unsung heroes January | February 2021
What makes for an “extraordinary Canadian”? It’s a question that has been asked, both implicitly and explicitly, for a long time. Some answers come in the form of public displays, such as statues and the faces that appear on our banknotes. Revering a person or group in bronze, whether it is Sir John A. Macdonald, Terry…

Comedy of Errors

We deserve better political memoirs October 2019
Books about Canadian prime ­ministers — either as individuals or as a group — have long been a staple of the political and historical literary scene. Last year, when the forty-third general election was still a year away, two such works appeared. One, Power, Prime Ministers and the Press, by the former Maclean’s editor Robert…