This slim book offers a straight-forward biography based on earlier accounts, some new documentation, and travel by the author to the countries where Bethune was active as a humanitarian doctor. This biography provides a very brief bibliography; and it lacks an index.
Gained a much fuller impression of the amazing man and his motivations from Clarkson’s biography (published as one of the books in the ‘Extraordinary Canadians’ series). Had heard about his time in Montreal and work in China but not really anything about the logging camps & his role there as a Frontier College ‘teacher’ [the movement founded by Alfred Fitzpatrick] nor his WWI experiences – which I found particularly insightful. I also learned about his time in the US, his illness and his groundbreaking work in Spain with mobile blood transfusion units and his difficulty with personal relationships. The book provides a well - rounded picture of the man, his influences & beliefs. I had not realized just how much he saw himself as a man of action & his belief that he was meant to be in the spot light – ‘making great things happen’ but all the while trying to make things better for others & to ease their suffering. His time in China was truly epic but it is good to see that he is also becoming recognized in Canada and in Spain. Just the right length/level of detail.
Very interesting. Adrienne Clarkson does a great job of showing all sides of this great man. I learned a lot and now appreciate Norman Bethune's spirit of "helping others".
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