THE ASSASSINATION OF D'ARCY McGEE by

THE ASSASSINATION OF D'ARCY McGEE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though Canadians cannot hope to hold a candle to their American cousins with respect to the frequency with which they employ assassination as a political expedient, they do have to their discredit one such exercise in Byzantine republicanism; the assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee in 1868. McGee was, with Hibernian universality, a successful journalist and statesman as well as an authentically talented poet, who fled Ireland after the unsuccessful uprising of 1848. After an American sojourn (Boston and New York) he went to Montreal and eventually became a member of the Canadian legislature, President of the Council, and Minister of Agriculture. His political success worked a change in his anti-British attitudes to the extent that he became one of the most forceful and influential exponents of the advantages of Canadian confederation within the British Empire. It was a volte face that many of his compatriots were not prepared to forgive, and McGee was murdered by a vindictive Fenian. This book is a biography of McGee as well as a detailed account of the circumstances of that assassination, and it is notable for the exhaustive nature of its research as well as for the sensitivity with which Mr. Slattery approaches McGee's accomplishments and ideals both as statesman and poet-writer. Those virtues, however, are not enough to conceal the fact that the audience for this book is almost exclusively a Canadian one.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday