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John Richard English, CM, FRSC (born January 26, 1945) is a Canadianmarker academic who has also been very active in Canadian public life.

A native of Plattsville, Ontariomarker, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967 from the University of Waterloomarker. He completed his A.M. degree in 1968 and PhD in 1973 at Harvard Universitymarker. He joined the University of Waterloo as a lecturer in history in 1972, becoming an Assistant Professor in 1974, an Associate Professor in 1978, and a Professor in 1984.

He served as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener between 1993 and 1997. Subsequently, he served as a Special Ambassador for Landmines and as a Special Envoy for the election of Canada to the United Nations Security Council. He has also served as President of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs; Chair of the Board of the Canadian Museum of Civilizationmarker and the Canadian War Museummarker; and is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada's largest think tank devoted exclusively to the study of international affairs. He is concurrently University Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Waterloomarker. He is also the General Editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. English is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Council.

John English has written many books and articles, and was the official biographer of former Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson; this work was published in two volumes. At the request of the Trudeau family, he wrote the biography of Pierre Trudeau. In October 2006, the first volume, Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Volume One: 1919-1968 (ISBN 0-676-97521-6), was published. The second volume, entitled Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Vol. 2 1968-2000, was published in October, 2009.

He is a Member of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a recipient of many literary awards. Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Volume One was shortlisted for the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction in February, 2007.

Selected bibliography

  • The Decline of Politics, 1977.
  • Arthur Meighen, 1977.
  • Robert Borden, His Life and World, 1977.
  • Years of Growth, 1986.
  • Shadow of Heaven: The Biography of Lester Pearson Vol. 1, 1897-1948, 1989.
  • The Wordly Years: The Biography of Lester Pearson Vol. 2, 1949-1972, 1992.
  • Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Vol. 1: 1919-1968, 2006.
  • Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Vol. 2: 1968-2000, 2009.


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