Random House, Inc. Now aged 75, Peter C. Newman at last tells the story of his stranger-than-fiction life. Try to keep up as we follow his many lives: as a pampered child in a Czech chateau; a Jewish kid in short pants being machine-gunned by Nazi fighter planes on the beach at Biarritz, en route to the last ship to escape from France in 1940; as a refugee on an Ontario farm; as an outsider on a scholarship at Upper Canada College; as a Financial Post journalist, then an author whose Renegade in Power made Canadian politics dramatic and disrespectfully exciting for the first time; as the man who revealed the secrets of the rulers of the Canadian business world in The Canadian Establishment, and other huge business success stories, including The Establishment Man, on Conrad Black; or the millionaire who turned his back on business books and tackled Canadian history (Company of Adventurers and other triumphs), in a career where his work has dominated the bestseller lists in politics, business, history, and current affairs.
In the midst of all this were his years at the Toronto Star and Maclean’s where, as editor, he took the magazine weekly – a huge accomplishment. He is still a legend there, where his columns continue to run.
He knew and wrote about every prime minister from Louis St. Laurent to Paul Martin and every prominent Canadian – hero or villain – in between. Yet his most interesting character is – Peter C. Newman. Incredibly, this central figure known to millions of Canadians sees himself as a perennial outsider. In personal terms, the rich little Czech boy whose nannies never stayed talks frankly about his marriages and the women he has known before his ultimate marriage to his beloved Alvy. His enthusiasms – from jazz to the Canadian Navy, not to mention his adventures on his beloved sailboat – make for a rich portrait of an astonishingcharacter, one who never stops being controversial.