Rating: 5 out of 5
I am biased — I am absolutely biased — in favour of this kind of personal histories, especially when they are well written, as I have stated before. Mr Rowe remembers and reminds both what he saw but also what he has learned from others about the three of Newfoundland’s premiers, Mr’s Peckford, Wells, and Tobin.
What makes this gem so good, however, is the tendency that Mr Rowe seems to have adopted in comparison to the Danny Williams and Joey Smallwood / Frank Moores’ books to be a bit more critical in applying hindsight. How good were these people in reality and what they meant for the province and people who voted the premiers and their parties in? Mr Rowe tries to answer this with more comments from people who called in to his show — perhaps because the more recent events are better remembered — but either way these glimpses into what the typical Newfoundlander might have thought illustrate this work perfectly.
What perhaps further enhances this volume over those of the other premiers is the success which the three men enjoyed in the province as well as federally. Much unlike Moores or Smallwood, these three did not rule for decades without end or abuse the office, but tried to do their best to improve the lot of Newfoundland in the Confederation and that of the Newfoundlander in their everyday life. How well they succeeded will be up to the reader to determine, but this book will help you on that path for mentioning both what was done well as well as what these people may have failed in.