Stanley Knowles: The Man from Winnipeg North Centre
Contains Illustrations, Index
James G. Snell is a history professor at the University of Guelph,
author of In the Shadow of the Law: Divorce in Canada, 1900-1939, and
co-author of The Supreme Court of Canada: History of the Institution.
The Man from Winnipeg North Centre is a delightful book. The author eschews much of her own academic training to provide a warm, sensitive study of the long-time Canadian politician Stanley Knowles. Having known the member of Parliament closely since her childhood, Susan Trofimenkoff brings to the book an admiration, a respect, and not a little affection for Mr. Knowles. Yet she is able to control these feelings so that rather then becoming offensive they instead add to the attractiveness of the book. With this perspective in mind the author has chosen to write not a scholarly analysis of Knowles’ long career, but “a biographical memoir” relying considerably on interviews with the subject.
The result is an attractive and often revealing portrait of the man and his ideas. The basis of Knowles’ early commitment to socialism, his religious career, his commitment to such vital policies as pensions, and his role in the CCF party and the NDP are all elaborated. As well, there are many insights into what motivates Canada’s longest-sitting current member of Parliament. When combined with the author’s own effective writing style, the product is a useful and appealing book.