The Power of the Pen: The Politics, Nationalism, and Influence of Sir John Willison

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Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. Arguably, Sir John Willison had more influence on the evolution of Canada's emerging nationalism and public policy shifts than any other journalist had in his time or since. Sir John Willison was the most influential Canadian journalist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries while the country achieved economic growth, intellectual maturation, and world status.

With his incisive pen and clear reasoning, Willison utilized Toronto's Globe and News, his Times of London contributions, his many books and speeches, and his unparalleled connections with key political leaders to establish himself as a major national figure. Uniquely, Willison was at the heart of both the Liberal and Conservative Parties as a devoted supporter and good friend of Sir Wilfrid Laurier; a first employer, early booster, and continual admirer of William Lyon Mackenzie King; and a close ally of Sir Robert Borden.

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Willison was a major player in the epochal federal political shifts of , , and and articulated highly influential views on the nature and evolution of Canadian nationalism and public policy. The Union government then sought a mandate. After Willison mixed achievements and disappointments. Known for his chairmanship in —16 of the Ontario commission on unemployment, in he was made head of the Ontario Housing Committee, which unsuccessfully urged federal funding.

In addition, on the invitation of business leaders, he served as president of the Canadian Reconstruction Association from to , but he could not bridge the divisions between business, labour, and agrarian interests. As a member in —21 of the Ontario royal commission on university finances, he felt that the new United Farmers government was not inclined to be generous. He was an avid clubman and lawn bowler, a Prohibitionist, and a Methodist turned Anglican.


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Their twin sons both became journalists; one, William Taylor, was killed in France in Willison had major champions as well as detractors. Many Liberals could never forgive his turn against Laurier.

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So men of all sorts sought his counsel in an emergency, trusting to his balanced judgment, his unique experience and his incorruptible integrity. With his incisive pen and clear reasoning, he raised the Globe to unprecedented prominence. For two highly eventful decades in British-Canadian relations he interpreted Canada brilliantly for the Times.

His history of Laurier and his Reminiscences constituted major literary achievements.

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Richard T. The only published biography is A. Rather than an objective analysis, it is an admiring tribute by a friend and journalistic contemporary who allowed Willison to be his own biographer by speaking through his letters. Toronto, [? AO, RG , no. Charlesworth typescript.


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QUA, Joseph Flavelle fonds. Times Arch. London, Eng. Evening News Toronto , — Globe , —, esp. Morning Post London, Eng. Times London , — Brown, Robert Laird Borden: a biography 2v. Brown and Ramsay Cook, Canada, — a nation transformed Toronto, Canadian annual rev.

Charlesworth, Candid chronicles: leaves from the note book of a Canadian journalist Toronto, Halifax , 7 —28 : — Dafoe, Clifford Sifton in relation to his times Toronto, ; Laurier; a study in Canadian politics Toronto, ; repr. Donnelly, Middleton and Fred Landon, The province of Ontario: a history, — 5v. Margaret Prang, N.

Rowell, Ontario nationalist Toronto and Buffalo, Round Table London , —