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THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book" and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners on Robert Darnton's "communications circuit."

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Jul 13, 2020

Mark Bourrie is a Canadian lawyer, blogger, journalist, author, historian, and lecturer. His work has appeared in many Canadian magazines and newspapers. In 2020, his book  Bushrunner: The Adventures of Pierre Radisson, won the final RBC Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction. 
 
Known widely as the namesake of ships and hotel chains, Pierre-Esprit Radisson is perhaps best described, writes Mark, as “an eager hustler with no known scruples.” "Kidnapped by Mohawk warriors at the age of fifteen, Radisson assimilated and was adopted by a powerful family, only to escape to New York City after less than a year. After being recaptured, he defected from a raiding party to the Dutch and crossed the Atlantic to Holland—thus beginning a lifetime of seized opportunities and frustrated ambitions.

His 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".

I talked with Mark over the phone about the genesis of his book, and about Radisson and his life with capitalism, the Mohawk, the British and the French.