As the century and, indeed, the millenium hurry to their end, this week Maclean’s celebrates its 80th birthday with an overview of the magazine’s eight decades. What emerges is an ornate and often tangled tapestry of brimming hopes, bleak despair, almost endless war, scientific accomplishment and a society in perpetual motion.By GLEN ALLEN30 min
The importance of the first editor of Lt.-Col. John Bayne Maclean’s The Busy Man's Magazine was marginal. He was a journeyman journalist named W. Arnot Craick, and his job was to collect and reprint excerpts from other magazines—the first vocation of the magazine that was to become Maclean's—and his name was not even on the masthead of the publication that he had to produce on a budget of $75 a month.By GLEN ALLEN10 min
Every word of every piece published in Maclean's at the time I started, in the late 1950s, went, as we said, “up the line.” I can still remember the route list: K.L., I.S., L.F.H., R.A.—and then back down. K.L. was Ken Lefolii, the brilliant young copy editor (and later editor, whose hard-edged genius, evident also in early Canadian public affairs television, was unappreciated by the owners of Maclean's, who forced his resignation in 1964).
The publishing venture started by Lt.Col. John Bayne Maclean with The Canadian Grocer 99 years ago has become one of the largest corporations in Canada, with assets worth $815 million. In 1985 Maclean's is one of Maclean Hunter’s 160 periodicals in Canada, the United States and Britain, among them special-interest publications with such titles as Canadian Snowmobile Trade-in Guide, New Mother, Dog World and Kitchens.By GLEN ALLEN7 min
The early Maclean’s, like its readers and like most other mass-appeal magazines on the continent, rarely created sensations. It did publish blunt opinions—in 1917 founder Lt.-Col. John Bayne Maclean called Canada’s government leaders “nonthinking, small-visioned, jealous pinheads”—but the magazine, largely because of the long time needed to print and distribute it in its early years, left investigative reporting and “scoops” to the newspapers.By GLEN ALLEN7 min
Like doctors at a sickbed, as Margaret Atwood once wrote, Canadians are forever taking the national pulse. From the very beginning, the elusive identity of the country and its people has been a subject of almost morbid fascination to poets, to writers of letters to the editor and others—visitors, composers of anthems, designers of flags and an army of contributors to Maclean’s.By GLEN ALLEN7 min
Just 16 days after winning power in the Quebec provincial election, Premier Robert Bourassa’s new Liberal government last week made good on promises to lighten the tax load borne by Quebecers. In an interim budget presented in the national assembly, Finance Minister Gérard Lévesque announced that taxes imposed by the previous Parti Québécois government on personal life, disability and accident insurance premiums would be removed.
Maclean's 80-year existence, celebrated in this issue, has been an essential life-cycle. The magazine has not always provided a wholly luminous view of Canadian life, but the view it did provide was often the only national focus available.By Peter C. Newman4 min
Brandishing a handgun and a grenade, a convicted armed robber burst into a courtroom during a criminal trial in the western French city of Nantes last week, armed two defendants and, in a bizarre terrorist exercise filmed live by French television, took everyone in court hostage.
There are a number of aphorisms that get us through life. Foes—no defence has ever been invented against them. Behind every great man stands a wife telling him he’s no good. Real drinkers never go out on New Year’s Eve; that’s the night for amateurs.By Allan Fotheringham4 min
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