Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Levine on Newman on Dief+50

Young Newman and his wife-colleague-rival Christina McCall
Historian Allan Levine takes note of the fiftieth anniversary of Peter C. Newman's Renegade in Power, the study of John Diefenbaker that launched modern political journalism as a genre to be reckoned with in Canada.
At the Diefenbaker Centre at the University of Saskatoon, where Diefenbaker’s papers are housed, there is a handwritten note in the Renegade in Power file. Archivists assured me many years ago that it was penned by Diefenbaker and attests to his fury and meanness.
“Then there is Newman,” it begins. “He is the literary scavenger of trash. Manufactured and concocted. He is in close contact with the Liberal hierarchy and gets his briefings from them as to what he should publish. False propaganda. Vicious. Health of my wife. Cruel Stories, Caricatures.”
As Levine notes, historians have mostly affirmed and reinforced Newman's image of Dief.

(Photo: from National Post)
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