For political buffs, this is a fascinating view of the politics of the Diefenbaker-Pearson-Trudeau era, including backroom information never before published. For media buffs, its an inside view of the politics of our leading newspapers, and a critical analysis of modern journalism by one who helped to invent it. For those concerned with the great public issues of our times, it's a controversial account of where constitutional reform went wrong and of how we got to free trade by a journalist who played a significant role in the national debate. But this is more than the record of a professional life. It's also the personal story of a motherless boy growing up in Britain, his wartime experiences with the Royal Navy, and his decision to emigrate to Canada, with a young family in tow, after publisher Lord Beaverbrook declared the young scribe unfit for promotion because he was the wrong shape: "Small head, big feet, won't do."
Anthony Westell started work as an apprentice reporter in Britain in 1942 when he was 16. Returning to journalism after three years in the Royal Navy, he made his way to success in Fleet Street in London. Westell emigrated to Canada in 1956 to join The Globe and Mail, becoming a member of the Editorial Board, and then Ottawa Bureau Chief. Joining The Toronto Star as national affairs columnist in 1969, he later moved to Carleton University to teach journalism, becoming director of the school of journalism and Associate Dean of Arts.