Hostages to Fortune: The United Empire Loyalists and the Making of Canada

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 1, 2016 - History - 272 pages
Esteemed Canadian author Peter C. Newman recounts the dramatic journey of the United Empire Loyalists—their exodus from America, their resettlement in the wilds of British North America, and their defense of what would prove to be the social and moral foundation of Canada.

In 1776, tensions in the British colonies were reaching a fever pitch. The citizenry was divided between those who wished to establish a new republic and those who remained steadfast in their dedication to the British Empire. As the tensions inevitably boiled over into violence, fault lines were exposed as every person was forced to choose a side. Neighbours turned against each other. Families divided. Borders were redrawn.

The conflict was long and bloody, and no side emerged unscathed. But there is one story that is often overlooked in the American Revolutionary canon. When the smoke from the battles had settled, tens of thousands of individuals who had remained loyal to the crown in the conflict found themselves without a home to return to. Destitute, distraught, and ostracized—or downright terrorized—by their former citizens, these Loyalists turned to the only place they had left to go: north.

The open land of British North America presented the Loyalists with an opportunity to establish a new community distinct from the new American republic. But the journey to their new homes was far from easy. Beset by dangers at every turn—from starvation to natural disaster to armed conflict—the Loyalists migrated towards the promise of a new future. Their sacrifices set the groundwork for a country that would be completely unlike any other. Neither fully American nor truly British, the Loyalists established a worldview entirely of their own making, one that valued steady, peaceful, and pragmatic change over radical revolution. The Loyalists toiled tirelessly to make their dream a reality. And as the War of 1812 dawned, they proved they were willing to defend it with their very lives.

In Hostages to Fortune, Peter C. Newman recounts the expulsion and migration of these brave Loyalists. In his inimitable style, Newman shines a light on the people, places, and events that set the stage for modern Canada.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This book presents both a biography of the Loyalist Jarvis family, and a history of the time in North America. Unfortunately, it falls short on both accounts. There is a lot of general history of the ... Read full review

Hostages to Fortune: The United Empire Loyalists and the Making of Canada (Canadian Origin)

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

In a disappointing and unbalanced analysis, prolific and accomplished author Newman (When the Gods Changed) considers the calamitous effects of the American Revolution on colonists loyal to the ... Read full review

Contents

A Glorious Day for America
9
Founding the Republic of Impudent Dreams
25
Mayhem Unconfined
41
His Creator
149
Acknowledgments
227
xiixiii
249
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Peter C. Newman has been writing about Canadian history and politics for half a century. His previous works include the bestselling history of the Hudson's Bay Company, Company of Adventurers, as well as books on prime ministers John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and Brian Mulroney. A former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean’s, Newman has won a half dozen of the country’s most illustrious literary awards, including the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize for his memoir, Here Be Dragons: Telling Tales of People, Passion and Power. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada. Newman lives in Belleville, Ontario.

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