A GENTLEMAN OF THE PRESS by Floyd S. Chalmers

A GENTLEMAN OF THE PRESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The ballad of John Bayne Maclean, legendary Canadian publisher, is here hymned by his successor as chairman of the board of Maclean-Hunter. Born in the 1860's, Maclean was the very model of a self-made Victorian; an enterprising minister's son who got his start by catering to Canada's growing business communities with publications like the Dry Goods Review, and who went on to build an empire on such substantial journals and popular family magazines as the Financial Post and Maclean's. His place at the top permitted the publisher to undertake periodic wars on the Ottawa government, and otherwise to air his passions and peeves. A snob who loved to trot out in his militia uniform, ""Colonel"" Maclean (of Montreal's Duke of York Hussars) adulated European royalty unto its tackiest branches, revered the Empire, and despised--among other things, intellectuals, Baptists, heavy drinkers, paper manufacturers, ""international bankers,"" Bolshevists, and missionaries whom he thought inculcated socialism. Chalmers dutifully recalls the crusades and the eccentricities with reverence only mildly restrained by the fact that the boss was evidently hard to endure around the office. Unfortunately, he cannot save the Colonel from coming across as pallid (compared, for example, to his American contemporary, Hearst), stuffy and dull--and Chalmers' prose is likewise. There is no attempt to dig deeply into motives, or to estimate Maclean's influence on Canadian life. Hagiography most 'umble--though it may have a Canadian audience.

Pub Date: July 3rd, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday