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Hardcover Extraordinary Canadians Lord Beaverbrook Book

ISBN: 0670066141

ISBN13: 9780670066148

Extraordinary Canadians Lord Beaverbrook

(Part of the Extraordinary Canadians Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Press baron, entrepreneur, art collector, and wartime minister in Churchill's cabinet, Max Aitken was a colonial Canadian extraordinaire. Rising from a hardscrabble childhood in New Brunswick, he became a millionaire at age 25, earned the title of Lord Beaverbrook at 38, and by age 40 was the most influential newspaperman in the world. Fiercely loyal to the British Empire, he was nonetheless patronized by London's upper class, whose country he worked...

Customer Reviews

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The Little Giant

He wasn't physically large, but his physical presence was never in question. His horizons were endless, but he had the drive and ambition to strive to reach them all. Max Aitken's story reads like a modern fairy tale, but the people and circumstances are real. From a Newcastle, New Brunswick childhood, during which his ability to maneuver people for his own ends was manifested early on, Max rose to become a Peer of the Realm, much to the distress of several of the other peers. At the same time he had become the most influential newspaperman in the world. All this before the age of forty! David Adams Richards was the ideal choice to portray Max. As a novelist, his approach to Aitken's life bears an intimacy few historians possess. A native of Beaverbrook's home town, he has a fine writer's touch for bringing Max Aitken to life. The author's style is well-tuned to the personality of his subject. Aitken's career seems to have left him little time for reflection, there was always something else to accomplish. Aitken's drive for success emerged early - he started a newspaper at 13. After a short term as an office boy in a law office, he moved to Halifax, where he came under the tutelage of John Stairs, who taught him financial matters. A somewhat shady business affair led him to leave Canada for Britain. There, he moved upward with amazing speed to earn a Knighthood in 1911. The outbreak of WWI prompted the Canadian government to put him in charge of an archive of Canadian activities in the conflict. Not a record-keeper, Max used the role to promote Canada's role in the war. Before the Armistice was signed, Max Aitken had become Lord Beaverbrook - title taken from the region near his home. In the interwar years Aitken had his foot in two, related realms. Intelligence and propaganda were closely related in those days. But his other interest lay with the newspaper business, and his takeover of the 'Express" papers rejuvenated the chain. Among other causes it promoted was Free Trade among the members of the British Empire. As a Canadian, Max had suffered a good many snubs and sneers for being a "Colonial", but his wish for equal status really was based on economic issues. The culmination of all these activities, of course, was the appointment of newspaper baron Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, to being in charge of aircraft production shortly after the breakout of WWII. How incongruous - a publisher doing manufacturing? On reflection, the answer is dead easy. Aircraft production requires organisation and management skills. Max Aitken had demonstrated such abilities from an early age. This is a little giant of a book about a little giant of a man. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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