Coming April 2019
Known to some as the first European to explore the upper Mississippi, and widely as the namesake of ships and hotel chains, Pierre-Esprit Radisson is perhaps best described, writes Mark Bourrie, as “an eager hustler with no known scruples.” Kidnapped by Mohawk warriors at the age of fifteen, Radisson assimilated and was adopted by a powerful family, only to escape to New York City after less than a year. After being recaptured, he defected from a raiding party to the Dutch and crossed the Atlantic to Holland—thus beginning a lifetime of seized opportunities and frustrated ambitions.
A guest among First Nations communities, French fur traders, and royal courts; witness to London’s Great Plague and Great Fire; and unwitting agent of the Jesuits’ corporate espionage, Radisson double-crossed the English, French, Dutch, and his adoptive Mohawk family alike, found himself marooned by pirates in Spain, and lived through shipwreck on the reefs of Venezuela. His most lasting venture as an Artic fur trader led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which operates today, 350 years later, as North America’s oldest corporation.
Sourced from Radisson’s journals, which are the best first-hand accounts of 17th century Canada, Bush Runner tells the extraordinary true story of this protean 17th-century figure, a man more trading partner than colonizer, a peddler of goods and not worldview—and with it offers a fresh perspective on the world in which he lived.
Praise for Mark Bourrie
“This may well be the book of record on Canadian Second World War censorship.” —National Post
“[Fog of War] shows a system in which the military was overly protective of information, the media willing participants and the censors themselves fiercely independent.” —Montreal Gazette
“Mark Bourrie…writes well, he has done yeoman archival research and he presents much excellent material. What is important and new is his account of how the censors…were prepared to argue against government and the military in an effort to get news out during the Second World War…Bourrie’s book, written in good journalistic prose, is an entertaining one to read.” —Globe and Mail
“[Mark Bourrie] raises important questions about how journalists should react when faced with difficult obstacles to their primary mission of reporting the truth.” —Winnipeg Free Press