“The Premiers Joey and Frank” by Bill Rowe

About the Book...

Bestselling author Bill Rowe dishes up a long-awaited tell-all memoir that covers the years he spent in the political arena with Newfoundland premiers Joey Smallwood and Frank Moores.

In this federal election, Browne was running for the Tories in St. John’s West, which was way over on the Avalon Peninsula. And here was Joey, making him the main focus of his ridicule and venom in a rally 700 kilometres away in the Humber-St. George’s riding, as he now led the audience in a rousing chant of “Billy Browne is going down.” . . . The huge crowd of all sorts, including respectable businessmen and professionals and their oh-so-proper spouses, [sat] there with flushed faces and fervent eyes, caterwauling out their frenzied malediction of someone they’d barely heard of, let alone knew, on the other side of the island: “Billy Browne is going down, Billy Browne is going down.”

. . . What I [saw on TV] convinced me that Moores had made himself a master of the medium, delivering his lines as effortlessly as a comedian in the Catskills. I remember his description of us in Joey’s cabinet: The Liberal ministers were like Hush Puppies, he said. You buy them, lace up the tongue, and find them comfortable to walk on.

The Premiers Joey and Frank is three stories in one. First is Premier Joseph Roberts Smallwood’s, whose ego and force of personality dominated every room he walked into, and strained to the breaking point every personal relationship he had. The latter half of the book covers Premier Frank Moores and his mixed personal motives, combined with a singularity of political purpose: Get Smallwood. Entwined in both these stories is that of Bill Rowe’s own roller-coaster political life, where family and partisan politics were often inseparable. This is a riveting, entertaining, and often hilarious account of three men who aimed high, Icarus-like, and who earned three very different places in the history of this province.

#8 on the Globe and Mail (Canadian Non-Fiction) Bestseller List (October 12, 2013)

#8 on the Globe and Mail (Biography) Bestseller List (October 12, 2013)

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About the Author...

Born in Newfoundland, Bill Rowe graduated in English from Memorial University and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, obtaining an Honours MA in law.

BILL ROWE authorElected five times to the House of Assembly, Rowe served as a minister in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and as leader of the Official Opposition. He practised law in St. John’s for many years, and has been a long-time public affairs commentator, appearing regularly on national and local television, as well as hosting a daily radio call-in show on VOCM and writing weekly newspaper columns.

Rowe has written seven books: Clapp’s Rock, a bestselling novel published by McClelland and Stewart and serialized on CBC national radio; The Temptation of Victor Galanti, a second novel published by McClelland and Stewart; a volume of essays on politics and public affairs published by Jesperson Press of St. John’s; the critically acclaimed political memoir Danny Williams: The War With Ottawa, which appeared on the Globe and Mail’s bestsellers list in 2010; Danny Williams, Please Come Back, a collection of newspaper articles covering social, political, and economic issues; and Rosie O’Dell, a critically acclaimed crime novel published by Pennywell Books, a literary imprint of Flanker Press.

Rowe is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and has served on the executive of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. He is married to Penelope Ayre Rowe CM of St. John’s. They have a son, Dorian, a daughter, Toby, and three grandchildren.

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