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Who Changed the World

(HarperCollins Canada, 2013)

Celebrating Canadians who have created the present and are shaping the future, this book uses the successful format of How the Scots Invented Canada. Ken McGoogan takes the reader on a compelling journey through the lives of 50 accomplished Canadians -- all born in the twentieth century -- who have changed and often continue to change the great wide world.
Here we encounter an astonishing array of activists and humanitarians, musicians and writers, comedians and visionaries, scientists and inventors, all of them transformative figures who have made an impact internationally.
From Marshall McLuhan, Jane Jacobs, Deepa Mehta, and Stephen Lewis to David Suzuki, Oscar Peterson, Romeo Dallaire, and Irshad Manji, McGoogan shows why and how Canadians are making their mark globally as initiators and agents of progressive change. Forty per cent of the figures included are women.
Cutting-edge Canada, the focus of this book, is uniquely pluralistic—multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multinational. The diversity that emerges in these pages defines who we are as citizens, enabling and encouraging individuals to make a difference. With this spirited, accessible work, Ken McGoogan shows how twentieth-century Canada is transforming the twenty-first century.

Reviewers respond . . .

"The biographies . . . are often enlivened by engaging anecdotes. Readers learn how actor Michael J. Fox discovered he had Parkinson’s, are treated to a chance encounter between Leonard Cohen and a Calgary waitress and are provided with an amusing yarn about Mohawk First Nations actor Jay Silverheels, best known for his portrayal of the Lone Ranger’s faithful sidekick Tonto."
Vit Wagner, National Post

"Our best and brightest have been making their mark internationally for many years, and McGoogan’s book shows there’s plenty more (Naomi Klein, Irshad Manji, Craig Kielburger, Samantha Nutt) where the originals came from."
Brian Brennan, Facts and Opinions

"McGoogan’s list is diverse, with a particular effort made to include native Canadians, and it is nice to see artists and scientists treated as equals to humanitarians and activists."
Dan Rowe, Quill and Quire
. . .  the sweep and scope and sheer creativity of choices makes for an enjoyable and entertaining read, and all but the most knowledgeable modern historians will likely learn something new along the way."
Jon Muldoon, Beach Metro Newspaper

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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.