Richard
Gwyn

Awards

2011 Finalist

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

for Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times; Volume Two: 1867-1891

Jury Citation

“In Richard Gwyn’s Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times; Volume Two: 1867-1891, a vast amount of research and new information is crafted into a remarkably readable and fast-moving biography. This is history as it should be written: visual, tactile and full of characters who step off the page fully-formed, carrying with them a reader’s understanding of an entirely separate period in time. Constructing a complete picture of a complex politician, statesman, husband and flawed human being, Gwyn has done a great service for Canadians who want to understand their own nation — especially because the book so beautifully integrates the birth of Canada with Macdonald’s own journey. To have done it with such clear and accessible writing makes a tribute to a great Canadian statesman a tribute to a great writer as well.” – 2011 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Brian Brett, Devyani Saltzman, and Russell Wangersky)

2011 Winner

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

for Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times; Volume Two: 1867-1891

Jury Citation

“In Nation Maker, Richard Gwyn gives us a politician who was far more shrewd and tough than either the debonair image he himself cultivated, or the caricature imprinted on too much of our history. Gwyn shows how Macdonald built a nation out of a reluctant union of impoverished colonies, and shaped the Canada we know today. He explores the most important episodes of early post-Confederation history, including the construction of a transcontinental railway, the two Riel rebellions, and the periodic eruptions of US-Canada tensions. This is a fully-rounded and compelling portrait of our first prime minister’s public and private life. Gwyn’s subtitle – ‘His Life, Our Times’ – reflects the author’s view that history is about more than the past. Gwyn’s distinctive voice, and his skill in presenting Macdonald’s achievements to contemporary readers, enables us to reflect on this country’s past, present, and future.” – 2011 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Jury (David Akin, Charlotte Gray, and Janice Gross Stein)

2007 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

for John A: The Man Who Made Us; The Life and Times of John A. Macdonald, Volume One: 1815–1867