A Knight in Politics:
A Biography of Sir Frederick Borden
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by Carman Miller
McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal, 2010
430 pp., illus., $49.95 hardcover
Sir Frederick Borden was the minister of militia and defence from 1896 to 1911, making him the longest-serving defence minister in Canada’s history. He exerted enormous influence on the country by instigating reforms to the militia, especially in allowing Canadians to serve in the higher command positions that had previously been reserved for British officers.
Borden guided Canada through the South African War (1899 to 1902), during which more than seven thousand Canadians served. These included his son Harold, who was killed overseas. Like so many families, the Bordens were devastated but found a way to carry on.
A Knight in Politics is a masterful work and is the result of over forty years of research by one of Canada’s foremost military historians, Carman Miller, former dean of arts at McGill University. Miller explores the interplay of political, military, and social history in this fascinating portrait study that will be required reading for those who wish to understand Canada in the early twentieth century. Borden played a key role in helping to ease Canada forward in its long march to full nationhood.
— Tim Cook (Read bio)
Tim Cook is the author of five books, including The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie (Allen Lane, 2010).