Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Times - Book Review

My Times (1947-1995)
By Pierre Berton
Doubleday 1995

This is the second half of Pierre's Autobiography. The first half (Starting Out) was read and reviewed late last year.

In 1948 Pierre Berton and his wife Janet moved from Vancouver to Toronto. Pierre had been offered a job as an assistant editor for Macleans Magazine.

Pierre got this job after the series of articles he had written about his trip to the Headless Valley on the South Nahanni River. The Nahanni river is now the centre of the Nahanni National Park.

Once the Bertons moved to Toronto, they started their family. And eventually found a large house in the country. In Kleinberg, just outside of Vaughan at the NW corner of the GTA - Greater Toronto Area. Vaughan is at the junction of Highways 400 and 407. The Berton family prospered and lived in this house for over 50 years. (1950 to 2004). Well Pierre and Janet did anyway. The kids moved out, like all children do.

Pierre and Janet had six biological children, and one adopted. From eldest to youngest they are Penny, Pamela, Patsy, Peter, Paul, Peggy Ann and Perri. Peter is now an Architect and Paul is the Editor in Chief of the London Free Press Newspaper (London, Ontario).

This book details Pierre's life as a writer for Macleans Magazine, as a journalist for the Toronto Star, as a TV journalist, and a writer of exactly 50 books. Almost all of them being non-fiction narratives.

Pierre describes his involvement with the Canadian centenary (1967) whereby he edited a series of Books called the Canadian classics, and later wrote his own book called 1967. He was also involved with TV right from the beginning.

I enjoyed this autobiography very much for the over 40 years of life in Television, newspapers and book writing that Pierre enjoyed. He describes his books, how he chose the subject matter, what research he had to do, what questions he was asking and answering when he wrote the books, and what the public thought of the books after they were published.

Pierre died in 2004 at the age of 84 - he was born in 1920.
I read this book for the Canadian Challenge and the In Their Shoes Challenge.

Pierre Berton Website
Biography 1
Biography 2

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