A memoir about the forty-year friendship between Ramsay Cook and Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Ramsay Cook were friends for nearly four decades. A passion for the intellectual life drew them together but their friendship focused more on politics once Trudeau became prime minister. In The Teeth of Time Cook reflects on his relationship with Trudeau and the tensions created when one friend achieves political power and the other struggles to find the balance among his roles as detached scholar and teacher, involved citizen, and personal friend.
Trudeau, the most intellectual of Canadian prime ministers, turned to Cook, an illustrious historian and a speech-writer during the 1968 election campaign, for his trusted views. Cook's revealing memoir also traces how public affairs and the central political themes of Trudeau's reign - nationalism, federalism, and constitutional reform - continued to drive their relationship after Trudeau's resignation in 1984.
"The Teeth of Time: is taken from "The New Faces" by W.B. Yeats, a poem that is a declaration of abiding friendship:
Where we wrought that shall break the teeth of Time ...
Our shadows rove the garden gravel still,
The living seem more shadowy than they.
In a friendship that bridged the world of politics and the intellectual world of academia, what Cook and Trudeau wrought will outlast the teeth of time.