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John Boyko

5 June 2013 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The author and historian John Boyko discusses his new book, Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation (Knopf, 2013), with Joseph Planta.

Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation by John Boyko (Knopf, 2013).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: Blood and Daring

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

The historian John Boyko joins me again. His latest book, his fourth is out this week, and it’s a really great read. It’s called Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation. It reads like a novel in some parts, and is really engrossing. It sheds some light on Canada’s participation in the American Civil War, which heretofore has scarcely been written about or even known. He takes six people, tells their story and their role in the conflict on either side of the border. William Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state is a fierce proponent of annexing Canada, even invading it. George Brown, who’d founded the Globe newspaper, feels that if Canada ought to survive separate and not part of the United States, it should be its own country. John A. Macdonald sees to it. The more fascinating of the six guides into this book are John Anderson, a fugitive slave from the US who comes to Canada and who is on trial. I’ll get Mr. Boyko to tell us about that. As well as Sarah Emma Edmonds, a nurse who disguises herself as a man to serve in the Union army. She’s one of 40,000 Canadians who fights for either side. And there’s Jacob Thompson, a Confederate agent who makes his way to Canada to agitate. John Boyko’s previous books include Last Steps to Freedom and Into the Hurricane. His last book, which he was on this program with, was the great biography, Bennett: The Rebel Who Challenged and Changed a Nation, which was on the life and times of R.B. Bennett. You can find him on Twitter, @johnwboyko is his handle. This new book is published by Knopf. He is an administrator of Lakefield College School, where he was once dean of history. Please welcome back to the Planta: On the Line program, in Lakefield, Ontario, John Boyko; Mr. Boyko, good morning.