The Memory of Mackenzie King: American Philanthropy, a Canadian biography and Canadian History

by Jeffrey Brison

Jan 1, 2010
On 6 April 1949 the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) announced that it was awarding McGill University $100,000 for the purpose of supervising "the production of studies in the public and private life of W.L. Mackenzie King...." The object of the grant, King noted in a statement to the press the following day, was to provide him with assistance in the collection and organization of his papers and thus to "expedite the writing and early publication of Memoirs...." Under its terms, King had "complete liberty in making arrangements for the use of these funds in the study and preparation of his materials." The ultimate goal of this "quite exceptional expression of international friendship and good-will," King informed the public, was to produce "a Canadian biography and Canadian history." For its part, the RF saw the project as no less than "a significant opportunity to use the desire of a national and international leader to record his final views on the meaning of democracy."
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