Now published, May 2010
Travels through the Twentieth Century
This is the story of one veteran writer’s adventures in a tumultuous century. Bitten by the urge for travel and adventure, Donald MacKay went to sea as an apprentice sailor on an oil tanker in the Second World War. After the war, he became a reporter in Canada and then a foreign correspondent based in Europe during the Cold War. He covered the birth of NATO, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the building of the Berlin Wall, the May 1968 Paris student insurrection, and assignments in China during the Cultural Revolution and in Africa and India when colonial empires were falling apart. He reported on the last years of Sir Winston Churchill, interviewed Lord Bertrand Russell when the philosopher was imprisoned for civil disobedience, and met Dr. Albert Schweitzer on his way from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
MacKay tells of growing up in a world before TV and globalization, when automobiles and air travel were a novelty and young people like himself suffered from diseases that have since been conquered. He recalls what it was like to work as a reporter across Canada in the years after the war and in Montreal during the FLQ crisis. Since retiring from journalism in 1975, Donald MacKay has written ten books of Canadian social and industrial history. Having spent most of the 1990s in a farmhouse in southern Ireland, he came to rest with his wife, Barbara, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, not far from where he grew up in sight of Cape Blomidon.
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