Renowned Canadian author and journalist Peter C. Newman was on campus Monday to celebrate the launch of his book, Hostages to Fortune: The United Empire Loyalists and the Making of Canada and to be recognized for the ongoing contribution of his archives to McMaster University Library.
Faculty, staff, community members and alumni gathered in Alumni Memorial Hall to hear Newman talk about the history and significance of the United Empire Loyalists who journeyed to Canada from the United States after remaining loyal to England in the years following the American Revolution.
The book is the latest by Newman, who has written extensively on Canada’s politics and history, including political chronicles of Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson, and Pierre Trudeau, as well as a three-volume history of the Hudson Bay Company.
During the event, Newman talked about his long-time ties to the University and to the Hamilton community, both as a student at Hillfield Strathallan College and as a lecturer at McMaster in the 1970s.
In 1976, Newman began donating his personal archives, which are housed in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, to McMaster University Library. Since then, the collection has grown to include correspondence, research files, transcripts, proofs and manuscripts of many of the books written by Newman over the years, with more materials still to come.
“Peter has been a valued friend of the McMaster University Library for four decades,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian. “The Newman collections have been used by scholars from around the world as they try to piece together the fabric of Canadian History–the people, the politicians, the scandals, the accomplishments and failures. They are a truly valuable resource for those seeking to understand the Canadian experience.”
As a journalist, Newman worked for the Financial Post, Toronto Star and Maclean's magazine. He was editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star from 1969 to 1971 before moving on to Maclean's, transforming it into a weekly news magazine and serving as Senior Contributing Editor.
Newman has published more than 30 books, which collectively, have sold more than a million copies including Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years The Distemper of Our Times: Canadian Politics in Transition and The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister. In 2004 he published his autobiography, Here Be Dragons.