Read About Canada: "My God, this is a great country." by Earle Gray Free Online
Book Title: About Canada: "My God, this is a great country."|
The author of the book: Earle Gray
Edition: Civil Sector Press
Date of issue: November 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 469 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.7
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About Canada offers a kaleidoscopic overview of Canada and its history, including quotations, a compendium of facts and figures, Canadian achievements and inventions, an historical chronology cast as history headlines, and narratives of arresting episodes.
The lead narrative explodes the legend that the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham cast the destiny of North America and cost France its New World colony that spanned the continent from the Gulf of the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. It was, instead, a pair of naval battles on the far side of the Atlantic that briefly entrenched the British throughout North America, opened the way for the revolution that gave birth to the United States, the evolution of Canada as self-governing British colonies, and finally, Confederation.
Other episodes include the first European settlement in North America, 500 years before the arrival of Columbus… The tragic deaths of 30,000 destitute Irish in two tides of immigration, bringing the first cholera to North America, followed by 100,000 refugees from the Great Irish potato famine... Canada’s pioneer booze epidemic, when children drank whisky for breakfast… The first Canada Day, when a father of Confederation was burned in effigy with a live rat… Canada’s evolution from the rule of aristocracy to arguably the world’s most successful democracy… How Canadian diversity became the multicultural model for a troubled world… How Canada established the International Criminal Court in the face of opposition from the United States… And half a dozen more fascinating stories.
“Amazing stuff about Canada,” writes popular historian Christopher Moore.
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Read information about the authorI began writing during my high school years in a village on the west coast of British Columbia, for the local weekly newspaper and as a stringer for the Vancouver Sun. After high school I followed a common enough path at a time when newspaper reporters liked to think that five years on the job provided a better education than university and a bachelor’s degree, and a journalist was said to be a reporter without a job. I worked as a reporter on a weekly newspaper in West Vancouver, on the Vancouver Sun, and the Albertan, one of two daily newspapers in Calgary, Alberta. These were the early years of the Canadian oil boom. For a time I spent my days writing about oil for the Albertan, and my evenings as a sports writer. Then I joined an oil industry publication as writer and sub-editor.
I changed my career from writer to publisher, launching a small-town weekly newspaper in Invermere, in central British Columbia. It took a year to go broke, in a manner once described in a Hemmingway novel: first slowly, then all of a sudden.
Returning to Calgary, I was editor of Oilweek magazine, one of Canada’s premier trade publications, from 1956 to 1971. This was when I wrote my first two published books, one a layman’s guide on how the petroleum industry functions, and its economic impact; the other, a history of the Canadian petroleum industry.
From mid-1971 to the Fall of 1977 I was stationed in Toronto as director of Public Affairs for Canadian Arctic Gas, a consortium of major U.S and Canadian firms that spent about $200 million on engineering and environmental studies, and regulatory hearings in both countries, for a proposed multi-billion dollar pipeline to transport natural gas from Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska and the Mackenzie River Delta in Canada, to cities across both countries. A competitive proposal won government approvals, but the pipeline has never been built; this despite the assurances of a U.S. President and a Canadian Prime Minister that it would be. It was, at the time, thought urgently needed. Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field ever found in North America, but also one of the largest natural gas fields. Most of the Prudhoe Bay oil has now been produced, but all the natural gas is still there, frozen in the Arctic, as it were.
Since 1977 I have worked independently as an editorial consultant, speechwriter, publisher (two small periodicals), and author of eight more non-fiction books. My awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Petroleum History Society (Canada) and the Samuel T. Pees Keeper of the Flame Award from the Petroleum History Institute (U.S.), one of just two Canadians to receive the latter award.
I am just starting work on my most ambitious, and possibly my last book. The working title is Fossil Fire: The impact of prehistoric fuels in the era of global warming, a history of coal, oil, and natural gas from the start of the Industrial Revolution. It will focus on the social, environmental, and economic impacts, good and bad. Fossil fuels have done more than any other resource in the last 300 years to advance human welfare, but now pose the greatest threat to human life in the form of global warming.
On a personal note, my interests include hiking, cooking, photography, and, of course, reading. I am also a bit of an exercise fanatic and a healthy eating zealot, both stemming from a cardiac arrest that almost took my life at age 58. Joan, my wife, drove me to the hospital as I felt, for the first and only time, the searing pain of angina. A cardiologist suggested I stay overnight for “observation.” During the night I was hit by two major cardiac arrests, and would not have survived but for defibrillation within a very few minutes.
After that, I determined to exercise more consistently, building up slowly, and follow a rigidly healthy diet. At age 78, I was one of thousands to climb the 1,776 steps to the top of one the world’s tallest building, Toronto’s CN Tower, in an an
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