Flora!: A Woman in a Man’s World
Flora Isabel MacDonald – politician, humanitarian, adventurer, and role model for a generation of women – was known across Canada and beyond simply as Flora. In her memoir, co-authored by award-winning journalist and author Geoffrey Stevens, she tells her personal story for the very first time.
Flora! describes her amazing journey from her childhood and her time at secretarial school in Cape Breton, through her years in backroom Progressive Conservative politics, to elected office and her appointment as Canada’s first female minister of foreign affairs. Finally, she details her exceptional humanitarian work in India and in war-torn Africa and Afghanistan. Flora was driven by a lifelong conviction that there is nothing a woman cannot achieve in a world controlled by men, and she pursued this conviction in everything she did, carving a path for women in Parliament. She won international acclaim for bringing 60,000 Vietnamese refugees to Canada, and for engineering the rescue of six American hostages in Tehran in a top-secret collaboration with the CIA known as the Canadian Caper. She exposed the inhumane treatment of inmates at Kingston’s Prison for Women. She defied male chauvinists in the Progressive Conservative party by running for its leadership, and she introduced the Employment Equity Act to guarantee women equal access to federal jobs.
Flora was brave. She was relentless. She was controversial. She was a force of nature. In her own words and drawing from interviews with those who knew her, Flora! grants us insight into this exceptional woman who changed the course of history.
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