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Newman, Peter C.

Introduction by Hugh MacLennan. Toronto. McClelland and Stewart. 1988. 244pp. paper. $12.95, ISBN 0-7710-6753-4.

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Thomas F. Chambers

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

Home Country was first published in 1973. It is a series of articles Newman wrote between the early 1960s and the early 1970s. Most of them deal with Canadian politicians such as John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau. A few are about places Newman visited as a journalist. (The one on Laos is my favourite.) Three are about the music of Stan Kenton for which Newman has a well-publicized liking.

Even though most of the events in Home Country took place only about twenty years ago, there is a feeling of the distant past about them. Nevertheless, Home Country is not history. This may be because journalism is written for the moment and is not expected to be re-read. Since the writing has to be current, most of it is forgotten as soon as it goes out with the garbage.

Those who like Newman's style will enjoy this book. It is entertaining and written with the feeling that the events witnessed were truly important. This seems most obvious in the comments on Richard Nixon, who becomes in Newman's hands a frightened, vulnerable man, not the man of greatness he hoped to be.

Thomas F. Chambers, Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology, Worth Bay, Ont.
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