Queen's University

Ignatieff book has Queen’s connection

"Loving a country is an act of the imagination. You love the country because it gives you the possibility of sharing feeling and belief. You cannot love the country alone. The emotions you have must be shared with others in order for them to make any sense at all."

Michael IgnatieffFederal Liberal leader
Michael Ignatieff’s
maternal great grandfather
is legendary Queen’s
Principal George M. Grant
(1877-1902).
[True Patriot Love book cover]

So writes Michael Ignatieff in his new book, True Patriot Love: Four Generations in Search of Canada (Penguin Group, Canada).

It begins with the story of legendary Queen’s Principal George M. Grant, who set out with Sir Sandford Fleming in 1872 to map out the railway line that would link Canada ocean to ocean. Ignatieff retraces Grant’s journey, seeing the country through his ancestor’s optimistic vision, and tracing how that vision filtered through his illustrious family tree.

Ignatieff and his wife, Zsuzsanna, begin their journey at the rent-a-car counter at the Thunder Bay airport and retrace the CPR route surveyed in 1872 by his great-grandfather and Fleming, who later became Chancellor of Queen’s. They visit old Hudson Bay forts, traversing mile after mile of the Canadian shield, following the Yellow Head Highway through the farm lands of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and visiting Canadian landmarks from Fort Francis to Wanuskewin to Batoche, from West Edmonton Mall to the Fraser River Valley.

The year after the trip, George Grant wrote an account of the journey entitled Ocean to Ocean. In 1877, he became Principal of Queen’s. 

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2009-06-15
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Last updated at 2:51 pm EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
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