The De Cosmos Enigma

By Gordon Hawkins

The De Cosmos Enigma
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This biography explores what drove William Smith to change his name, in the gold fields of California in the 1850s, to Amor De Cosmos. Hawkins traces how De Cosmos became one of the most feared journalists in British Columbia and then how he forced his way into British Columbia ... Read more


Overview

This biography explores what drove William Smith to change his name, in the gold fields of California in the 1850s, to Amor De Cosmos. Hawkins traces how De Cosmos became one of the most feared journalists in British Columbia and then how he forced his way into British Columbia politics, becoming BC’s second premier. Although De Cosmos played a crucial role in creating present-day Canada from sea to sea, by the end of his life, he was little remembered.

Gordon Hawkins

Gordon Hawkins was born in London, England, in 1921. He has degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto. Following service in naval intelligence in World War Two, he held appointments in university adult education in England and Canada and with the Canadian Association for Adult Education and was presenter of the CBC's TV and radio discussion program, Citizen's Forum. This was followed with executive positions in the Canadian Institute on Public Affairs and the Canadian Association of International Affairs. After a return to university life, he moved to the United Nations in New York to become the Director of Training in the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. For his part in Commonwealth affairs, he was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in a New Year's Honours list. His keen interest in the history of British Columbia and of Victoria in particular began late in life but has continued into his nineties. Gordon lives in Victoria.

Reviews

“This sympathetic and serious portrait amply succeeds in restoring to Amor De Cosmos the respect that he deserves.” —Joan Givern, BC BookLook“A valuable resource.” —Times Colonist editor-in-chief David Obee

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