Writing History: A Professor’s Life

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Dundurn, Sep 20, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
One of Canada’s best-known and most-honoured biographers turns to the raw material of his own life in Writing History. A university professor, prolific scholar, public intellectual, and frank critic of the world he has known, Michael Bliss draws on extensive personal diaries to describe a life that has taken him from small-town Ontario in the 1950s to international recognition for his books in Canadian and medical history. His memoir ranges remarkably widely: it encompasses social history, family tragedy, a critical insider’s view of university life, Canadian national politics, and, above all, a rare glimpse into the craftsmanship that goes into the research and writing of history in our time.



Whether writing about pigs and millionaires, the discovery of insulin, sleazy Canadian politicians, or the founders of modern medicine and brain surgery, Michael Bliss is noted for the clarity of his prose, the honesty of his opinions, and the breadth of his literary interests.
 

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Contents

Epigraph
9
Introduction
11
Main Street Kingsville
15
Flawed Family
33
White Leather Jackets
55
Varsity Blues
77
Apprenticeship
99
Lecturing
123
Toward 1984
219
On the Road
233
Loathsome Diseases
255
The Road to Hazeldean
283
Scholarly Solitude
317
Osler
347
Cushing
375
Retiring
407

Governing
151
The Discovery of Insulin
183

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About the author (2011)

Michael Bliss, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, has written numerous books in the fields of Canadian politics, medicine, and business, including the Governor General’s Award–nominated Plague: A Story of Smallpox in Montreal and Sir William Osler: A Life in Medicine. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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