John Boyko

John Boyko is the author of five books addressing Canadian history and politics, including the critically acclaimed Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged and Changed a Nation. Applauded by the Globe and Mail as a “distinguished scholar of Canadian political history” and praised by the Winnipeg Free Press for his “encyclopedic knowledge of Canadian history,” John’s latest book, Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation (Knopf Canada) was released in May, 2013 to popular and critical praise in Canada and the United States. Publisher’s Weekly said, “The authoritative narration is clear, precise, and entirely enjoyable for non-scholars. The book presents a startlingly unfamiliar and ominously dangerous period in Canadian-American relations”. John is now writing Kennedy and the Canadians, which will be published by Knopf in 2015. John is an engaging speaker and has appeared on many national and regional radio and TV programs. He is the former Dean of History and currently an administrator at Lakefield College School and an op-ed contributor to many Canadian newspapers. He lives in Lakefield, Ontario

Blood and Daring
x Blood and Daring

Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation

In Blood and Daring, lauded historian John Boyko makes a compelling argument that Confederation occurred when and as it did largely because of the pressures of the Civil War. Many readers will be shocked by Canada’s deep connection to the war–Canadians fought in every major battle, supplied arms to the South, and many key Confederate meetings took place on Canadian soil. Boyko gives Americans a new understanding of the North American context of the war, and also shows how the political climate of the time created a more unified Canada, one that was able to successfully oppose American expansion.

Filled with engaging stories and astonishing facts from previously unaccessed primary sources, Boyko’s fascinating new interpretation of the war will appeal to all readers of history. Blood and Daring will change our views not just of Canada’s relationship with the United States, but of Confederation itself.

Rights sold:
North American - Knopf Canada, World French - University of Laval Press

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Kennedy and the Canadians

The history of Canada – US relations in the 1960s, as seen through the relationships between John F. Kennedy, John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson and how those relationships shaped Canada’s future.

Rights sold:
North American English - Knopf Canada

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Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged And Changed A Nation

In the late 1920s, Canada’s economy was showing all the signs of a full-fledged depression. Riding on the popularity of his promise to “blast” Canada’s way into world markets—and thus stop the economy’s downward spiral—Richard Bedford Bennett defeated William Lyon Mackenzie King at the polls on July 28, 1930, and assumed the leadership of the country. Over the next five years, Bennett’s name became synonymous with the worst of the depression—from Bennett buggies, to Bennett tea, to Bennett-burghs. Eighty years later, he is widely viewed as a difficult man, an ineffectual leader, and a politician who “flip-flopped” on his conservative beliefs in exchange for popularity.

In Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged And Changed A Nation John Boyko offers not only the first major biography of the man, but a fresh perspective on the old scholarship. Boyko looks at the prime minister’s sometimes controversial and often misunderstood policies through a longer lens, one that shows not a politician angling for votes, but rather a man following through on a life-long dedication to a greater role for government in society and the economy. Boyko effectively argues that Bennett’s achievements were not a departure at all, but rather consistent with the beliefs he held for most of his life. Boyko explores the origins and hardening of those beliefs as he details Bennett’s birth (into relative poverty) in Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick, his stunning success as a corporate lawyer and financial entrepreneur in Calgary, his years in politics, and his eventual retirement in England. Meticulously researched and well told, Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged And Changed A Nation stands among other first-class biographies of this country’s political greats.

Rights sold:
Goose Lane Editions (paperback), Key Porter

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