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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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May 30, 2021

Conrad Black - in full, Conrad Moffat Black, Lord Black of Crossharbour - was born in 1944, in Montreal. He is an author, columnist, historian, and businessman who built the third largest newspaper group in the world during the 1980s and 1990s. At its height the organization controlled nearly 250 newspapers including the London Daily Telegraph, the Fairfax Group in Australia, The Jerusalem Post, Southam Press in Canada, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
 
Black studied history and political science at Carleton University in Ottawa, earned a law degree from Laval University in 1970, and a Masters degree in history from McGill University in 1973. For his thesis he wrote a biography of former Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis; published in 1977, it came to be considered a definitive work.
 
He entered the newspaper business in 1967 as part owner of two small Quebec weeklies, on the way to establishing his media empire. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife Barbara Amiel. 
 
W​e met via Zoom to talk about his various book and model ship collections, Napoleon, Roosevelt, his collecting habits, and his long-term fulfilling relationship with books. First off however he vigorously defends himself against charges that were successfully levelled against him by U.S. federal prosecutors in the mid-2000s.