About the Book...
In this eagerly awaited follow-up to his memoir The Premiers Joey and Frank, bestselling author Bill Rowe delivers a spirited account of the next three premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador: Brian Peckford, Clyde Wells, and Brian Tobin.
[Minister Brian Peckford’s] ongoing vociferous battle with the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa over the actual ownership of the offshore petroleum resources added to his lustre. He made precisely zero progress against the federal Liberal government, but Peckford’s three years as the “fighting Newfoundlander” . . . gave him the platform from which to launch his run for the leadership of the PC Party and the premiership.
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For a man who disliked talking much in public about his own personal or family matters, [Clyde Wells] surprised a lot of observers by detailing his gut-wrenching and heartbreaking experience when his own son had to leave the province, taking Clyde’s beloved grandson with him, because there was no work here. . . . Thus, his “bring every mother’s son home” speech was extremely effective, as he lumped himself in with listeners and viewers who were also suffering from the forced absence of their loved ones. Wherever he emitted that speech during the campaign, it brought the audience to tears.
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Most objective commentators . . . conceded that the rally initiative Brian Tobin conceived and orchestrated had a favourable impact that contributed, just three days later, to the narrow “No” vote victory. . . . Even a previous political opponent, the formidable John Crosbie, was in awe of the former Rat Packer’s media savvy. The little rodent had saved Canada. But chief among the Tobin aficionados after the Quebec referendum was Jean Chrétien. My favourite Liberal MP informant in Ottawa told me that, when the close victory was finally known on the night of the referendum, the prime minister was heard screeching, “I love you, Brian Tobin” . . .
No Punches Pulled is a memoir. Bill Rowe, as leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and, later, host of VOCM Open Line, observed the rise of these three premiers and the shape our province took while under their care. This rousing and often laugh-out-loud political tale, told in Rowe’s inimitable style, will hold readers captive until the very last page.
No Punches Pulled: The Premiers Peckford, Wells, and Tobin is Bill Rowe’s tenth book. His books Danny Williams: The War With Ottawa and The Premiers Joey and Frank have appeared on the Globe and Mail bestsellers lists.
About the Author...
“With a mind – and a pen – as sharp as a paper cut, the elegant, affable Rowe remains Newfoundland’s literary agent provocateur, provoking, teasing, sometimes coddling his subjects, but all the time digging towards truths that cause discomfort for the province’s Who’s Who and everyman alike.”
Born in Newfoundland, Bill Rowe graduated in English from Memorial University and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, obtaining an Honours M.A. in law.
Elected 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 ten books: Clapp’s Rock, a bestselling novel published by McClelland & Stewart and serialized on CBC national radio; The Temptation of Victor Galanti, a second novel published by McClelland & 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; Danny Williams, Please Come Back, a collection of newspaper articles covering social, political, and economic issues; Rosie O’Dell, a critically acclaimed crime novel published by Pennywell Books, a literary imprint of Flanker Press; The Premiers Joey and Frank, a Globe and Mail bestseller and selected by the Hill Times as one of the Best 100 Books in Politics, Public Policy, and History in 2013; The Monster of Twenty Mile Pond, the much-loved novel of a legendary monster who engulfed the lives of two teenaged girls; The True Confessions of a Badly Misunderstood Dog, a fictionalized account of the frantic years when a Labrador retriever and two cats lived with the author’s family; and now No Punches Pulled: The Premiers Peckford, Wells, and Tobin, a political memoir that lives up to its title.
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, Rowan, Elizabeth, and Phoebe.
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