Bush Runner

The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson

Description

The first European to explore the upper Mississippi, as well as the namesake of ships and hotel chains, Pierre-Esprit Radisson is perhaps best described, writes Mark Bourrie, as “an eager hustler with no known scruples. ” His most lasting venture as an Arctic fur trader led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which operates today, 350 years later, as North America’s oldest corporation. Sourced from his journals, Bush Runner tells Radisson’s extraordinary true story.

Awards

  • Winner, RBC Taylor Prize 2020

Reviews

Praise for Bush Runner

“A dark adventure story that sweeps the reader through a world filled with surprises. The book is compelling, authoritative, not a little disturbing — and a significant contribution to the history of 17th-century North America. ” —Ken McGoogan, The Globe and Mail

“Mark Bourrie beautifully describes Radisson as the 'Forrest Gump of his time'. ..well-written. ..compelling. ” —Washington Times

“Highly entertaining reading. ..fascinating. ..an engaging achievement. ” The Winnipeg Free Press

"It is the theme of survival that dominates Radisson’s life and is the beating heart of Mark Bourrie’s biography, Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre-Esprit Radisson … A journalist and historian, Bourrie recognizes a good story when he sees one … In his hands, the life of Radisson plays out like some kind of early Canadian tragi-comedy … Masterful. " —Ontario History

“Bourrie’s writing is grounded in a strong sense of place, partly because of his own extensive knowledge of the land and partly because of Radisson’s descriptive storytelling abilities. ..offering a valuable and rare glimpse into 17th-century North America. ” Canadian Geographic

“The writing is lively, the descriptions of 17th century Indigenous life are cinematic and, despite Radisson’s many personal flaws, it is easy to admire his chutzpah. ” ARTSFILE

“Truly a rollicking good read. ” —Belleville Intelligencer

“Some readers may already have had an introduction to Pierre-Esprit Radisson and his partner, the much older Medard Chouart de Groseilliers (radishes and gooseberries). This book places both in context with their time and ambitions. Find your own copy and fill in your knowledge of one of Canada’s greatest explorers. ” —Owen Sound Sun Times

Praise for Mark Bourrie

“Rather than employing clash-of-civilizations rhetoric, Bourrie shows himself a curious and eclectic writer unafraid to raise difficult questions about propaganda, war porn, and the still-evolving nature of a wired world. His historical overview of the waves of urban violence afflicting North America and Europe in the past 150 years undermines the idea that ours is an age without precedent. ” Quill and Quire review of The Killing Game

“People are either going to love this book or hate it. Me, I loved it. Stephen Harper may not like it quite so much but he would do well to heed it. Sometimes the more people know about what you’re doing and how you’re spending their money can make them like you more. Or not. That’s the gamble you take in the free world. A lot has been happening in Ottawa for years now, but because the killing of the messenger has been so quiet, insidious and effective, few of us even know about it. ” Toronto Star review of Kill the Messengers

“As the first journalist with unfettered access to Canada’s press censor files, author Mark Bourrie tells what Canadians knew and did not know during the Second World War — and reveals the unpleasant political realities of a war so often portrayed as a unanimous moral crusade against evil. ” National Post review of The Fog of War