2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Finalist

Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr.,

Greg Donaghy 
Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr.
UBC Press

Greg Donaghy

Jury Citation

Paul Martin Senior was a giant in our nation's politics. Greg Donaghy’s biography explores the understudied life and underappreciated politics of one of the builders of modern Canada. A Member of Parliament for Windsor, Ontario and Liberal government minister, Martin was a champion of ground-breaking policy reform – from pensions and health care, to universal rights and global citizenship – that would lay the foundations of what many still consider to be the core elements of the Canadian identity. Donaghy’s highly readable and important book gives credit where it is due.

About the Book

First elected to the House of Commons in 1935, Paul Martin Sr. would serve in the cabinets of four prime ministers and run for the Liberal Party leadership three times. Cutting a broad swath through the history of twentieth-century Canada, Greg Donaghy uses extensive interviews and untapped archival sources to present Martin’s remarkable career not only as a politician but as a liberal reformer who relentlessly tackled the issues of his day with consummate political skill and gritty determination. Martin’s resolute championing of health care and pension rights, new meanings for Canadian citizenship, and internationalism in world affairs would leave its mark on Canada’s political landscape. Read an excerpt.

About the Author

Greg Donaghy is head of the Historical Section at Global Affairs Canada, and adjunct professor in the Department of History at St. Jerome’s University. He is general editor of Documents on Canadian External Relations, as well as editor of six volumes in this series covering 1950 to 1957. His publications include the monograph Tolerant Allies: Canada and the United States, 1963—1968, nine edited collections of essays on Canadian history, and more than 50 scholarly articles on Canadian foreign policy. He lives in Ottawa.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


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