Read King: William Lyon Mackenzie King-A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny by Allan Levine Online


William Lyon Mackenzie King, twice former Prime Minister of Canada, was a brilliant tactician, was passionately committed to Canadian unity, and was a protector of the underdog, introducing such cornerstones of Canada’s social safety net as unemployment insurance, family allowances and old-age pensions. At the same time, he was insecure, craved flattery, became upset at miWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King, twice former Prime Minister of Canada, was a brilliant tactician, was passionately committed to Canadian unity, and was a protector of the underdog, introducing such cornerstones of Canada’s social safety net as unemployment insurance, family allowances and old-age pensions. At the same time, he was insecure, craved flattery, became upset at minor criticism, and was prone to fantasy—especially about the Tory conspiracy against him. King loosened the Imperial connection with Britain and was wary of American military and economic power. Yet he loved all things British and acted like a praised schoolboy when British Prime Minister Winston Churchill or U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt treated him as an equal.This first major biography of Mackenzie King in 30 years mines the pages of his remarkable diary, at 30,000 pages one of the most significant and revealing political documents in Canada’s history and a guide to the deep and often moving inner conflicts that haunted Mackenzie King. With animated prose and a subtle wit, Allan Levine draws a multidimensional portrait of this most compelling of politicians....

Title : King: William Lyon Mackenzie King-A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny
Author :
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ISBN : 9781553655602
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 552 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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King: William Lyon Mackenzie King-A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny Reviews

  • Jean Poulos
    2018-10-27 21:46

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading “King: William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Life” by Alan Levine. Levine presented a balanced view of a most complicated and eccentric man. Levine took advantage of King’s personal diaries to show the private thoughts of the man as well as the public life. History would have a different view of King if the diaries had not been released to the public. The release was against the wishes of King. The book is well written and meticulously researched.King (1874-1950) was the longest serving Prime Minister of Canada. He served as PM from 1921 to 1926 then from 1926 to 1930 and lastly from 1935 to 1948. King was elected to the House of Commons in 1908 and was a member of the Liberal Party. Levine covers King’s life from birth to death. King got his law degree in 1896 from University of Toronto. He studied under Jane Addams at the University of Chicago and then transferred to Harvard where he obtained a master in political economy in 1898. In 1909 he got his Ph.D. from Harvard University. I was amazed that such a successful politician that led Canada through the Great Depression and WWII suffered from depression and had what Levine calls obsessive-compulsive tendencies. According to Levine, King believed in Spiritualism, which was very popular form the 1890 to 1940s. This was all revealed in the diaries.Levine points out that King was not a great orator nor was he charismatic but he was the ultimate skilled politician. During the depression, under King Canada passed the unemployment insurance programs and the old age pension. King is ranked in the top three Prime Ministers. I was surprised at the anti-Semitism in Canada and that when other counties were taking in Jews Canada only took in 5000. The treatment of Canadians of Japanese ancestry during WWII was worse than that of the United States.Alan Levine is a historian from Winnipeg. The book won the Alexander Ishister Award for non-fiction for 2012. I read this as an e-book on my Kindle app for my iPad. It has 554 pages and lots of photographs.

  • Doreen Petersen
    2018-11-03 02:41

    Excellent read of one of Canada's more colorful prime ministers. It's well worth checking out.

  • Paul Heidebrecht
    2018-11-06 03:45

    I'm still trying to figure this out. WLM King is the longest-serving prime minister in Canadian history and for three decades (1921-1948) fundamentally shaped the nation. He also kept a meticulous diary which was eventually published after he died. King not only divulged all his insecurities and petty resentments but his extensive involvement with spiritualism. He held seances in his home regularly, invited well-known psychics from around the world,and prayed nightly before a portrait of his mother who helped him make important decisions from beyond the grave. He even treated his dogs as human beings and mourned their deaths more deeply than most of his friends. And yet he was a devout Presbyterian, attended church faithfully, and sincerely believed God had called him to be Prime Minister. I suppose it proves one can be an effective political leader and still be a strange human being, if not someone with major psychological issues.

  • Daniel Kukwa
    2018-10-31 22:58

    I continue to find King a disappointing Canadian Prime Minister, and a complete whack-job of a human being. However, there is no denying (1) his impact on Canada...such as it was, and (2) the concise power of this fantastic biography. Beautifully written, full of insight and frankness, and completely lacking the the apologist tinge you'll find in other PM biographies, such as John Boyko's "Bennett". This is an extraordinary, worthwhile read you won't be able to put down.

  • Brian Borgford
    2018-10-30 21:58

    Simply BrilliantA balanced look at the life of one of Canada’s most significant leaders. It may be hard to like the man but you can’t deny his accomplishments and longevity in politics during a period of time when politics appeared more ruthless and uncontrolled than today’s environment.The author has done a wonderful job of assembling a plethora of relevant information and weaving it into an interesting account of Canada’s history. A great portrayal of the individuals whose names we toss around in reference to the second half of Canada’s first century.I found it fascinating to read about the early history of people whom I knew as elder statesmen in my younger years.This is a must read for anyone even remotely interested in the country’s past.

  • Amy
    2018-11-01 05:49

    Excellently written biography of one of our most peculiar Prime Ministers. I enjoyed the large amount of direct experts from Mackenzie Kings diary. It also gives great insight into early 20th century politics. Who said Canadian history was boring. Hand them this book to read.

  • Emily
    2018-10-24 06:02

    Where did the interest start that brought me here? In the early '90s when Sandra Gwynne's book the "Private Capital" was made into a TV movie. The young Rex King and his best friend seemed looked the male opposites of Anne of Green Gables and Diana. I've had an enduring interest from then on. Of course, when I was 12 I had no idea what a character he was. But I've traipsed around historic sites and been reading about him ever since. Levine's biography is definitive, aside from its depth in review of King's life it gives a flavour of Canadian politics, particularly during the period from the First World War through the end of the Second World War. Levine's use of the King journals (something we'll never have again, due to Cabinet confidentiality) give us an inside view of decision making during those years.One can't overlook King's bizarre behavior, which I felt Levine treated fairly. Even putting aside the spiritualism (as it wasn't used in political decision making) he was clearly selfish and generally out of touch the day to day realities of the average person.If you're looking for a little light reading, perhaps go the way of Charlotte Gray's "Mrs. King." However, if you really want to know about Mackenzie King, how he shaped Canada, and you have some time on your hands, this is the book for you.

  • Julian Haigh
    2018-10-18 04:52

    Proof that important can be boring. While a true thinker of modern times from his Phd work writing "Industry & Humanity: A Study in the Principles Under-Lying Industrial Reconstruction" to his political machinations to introduce unemployment insurance and old-age pensions, King was a truly big picture thinker and ahead of his time intellectually.While it may be easy to denigrate him for his interest in seances and the after-life it did not clearly negatively affect his ability to control and operate in life, and may have been advantageous at times. It does however offer an almost brutally human account of a person who struggled with his emotions and poured his heart out in his diaries. It is wholly unfair to dismiss him as a 'nut', but certainly not to characterize him as original as can be.World War 2, the conscription crisis, keeping Canada together and the King-Byng affair: all take a back seat to this man's relationship to his mother (living and dead), dogs, and awkward social life. When taking a step back though, it is incredibly revealing on the reality of his existence in a way that few biographies attempt (which often sensationalize and create grandiose subjects who, while more interesting to read, may not be as 'real' as a result).

  • Brian Burhoe
    2018-11-16 00:53

    Fascinating! We knew King lived an eccentric life -- but he had his moments of genius.

  • Jeff
    2018-10-23 02:45

    I found this biography comprehensive and even-handed. It touched on the controversial aspects of King's life, such as his spiritualism and lifelong bachelorhood, without making them the focal point of the story. The author was clear to point out that King did not dabble in spiritualism during the war years. As a Christian, I found much of his spiritual life and his strong sense that God had placed him on this earth for a purpose and to make a difference to be very commendable. It's a bit if a head-scratcher to me how he could hold so many orthodox views yet get into spiritualism. Overall a very interesting read about a man whose 30 years at the helm of the federal Liberal party still influences politics and life in Canada today.

  • Scott Jeffe
    2018-10-23 21:55

    Total quack. But a successful one.

  • Ann
    2018-11-10 23:36

    Very interesting, well written.