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John English

3 December 2009 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The historian and bestselling author John English discusses his second of two volumes on Pierre Trudeau, Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000 (Knopf, 2009), with Joseph Planta.

Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000 by John English. (Knopf, 2009) Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Just Watch Me

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line. This is THECOMMENTARY.CA.

Three years ago, John English published the first of two volumes of a biography of Pierre Trudeau. That first book was bestselling, critically acclaimed, and award-winning book. Now, he returns with the second volume, which is already a bestseller. Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1968-2000 is the awaited volume that begins when he is sworn in as Canada’s 15th prime minister. It takes us through the October Crisis, his subsequent near-defeats, wins and defeats in those elections he contested, as well as the patriation of the constitution, and battles over Quebec with Rene Levesque and the Sovereigntists. There’s discussion of the women in Trudeau’s life from Barbra Streisand, to the mother of his three sons, Margaret Sinclair, to Deborah Coyne, with whom he had a daughter, Sarah, and those women in-between. It’s a compelling book, accessible yet definitive. John English won numerous awards for the previous Trudeau volume, as well as his two-volume biography of Lester Pearson. He is a professor of history at the University of Waterloo, and the executive director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and general editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Just Watch Me is published by Knopf. I’m pleased to welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, John English; Good morning, Professor English.