Book details

Publication date: November 2018
Features: 26 B&W photographs, 5 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Keywords: Biography / RCMP and Military History
Subject(s): BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Law Enforcement, Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Auto/biography & Memoir, History, History / Canadian History, History, History / Alberta History, Area Studies, Area Studies / Northern & Polar Studies, Biography / RCMP and Military History, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military, HISTORY / Canada / General, Biography: historical, political & military, Biography / RCMP and Military History, Police & security services, History of the Americas, Canada, Bestseller
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press
Rod Macleod is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta.

"...Steele owed much of his career success to his simple approach to life—see what must be done, find the most practical way to do it, apply yourself with full energy and dedication.... Steele played a considerable role in a time full of huge change.... It’s a story worth telling. Macleod’s solid research and clear writing also make it a story worth reading." January 30, 2019 [Full article at]

Mark Lisac

"This book is a detailed treatment of the entire life of Sam Steele, informed and enhanced by new information held within the Steele collection. The breadth of Steele’s accomplishments encompass the opening of the west and north as Canada grew into nationhood after confederation."

Michael Gates, Yukon News

"...Steele emerges as a three-dimensional character, much more lively and realistic, than the self-portrait earnestly provided in his autobiography, Forty Years in Canada.... Rod Macleod is to be warmly congratulated for his excellent biography of an important Anglo-Canadian public figure in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."

Donald B. Smith, ARCTIC

"Rod Macleod has been thorough in his research, making extensive use of Samuel's diaries and personal papers now housed at the University of Alberta. The book is well written and places Steele in his proper role as Mounted Police frontiersman."

Alberta History

"This is a fine work that sheds light on many important events in the early decades of Canada. There is impressive nuance and detail here which show the diligent effort and dedication of the author. This is a good introductory book for those unfamiliar with Sam Steele and key episodes of Canadian national history after Confederation. It is a useful volume for those exploring the early days of the NWMP or the founding campaigns of the Canadian military. It is a revealing story of a talented, dedicated Canadian who always strove to do his best for his country." [Full review at]

Richard Roy, Canadian Military History vol. 29, no.1

"The life and times of Sam Steele are once again captured in a well-written and fast-paced book. A pleasure to read, it was difficult to close once I began reading Rod Macleod’s contribution to Canadian history as revealed through the letters and diaries of this interesting figure…. [This] welcome addition to any Canadian Studies, police, or military history library is sure to develop interest in a number of episodes in Canada’s history between 1832 and 1919…. Macleod organises his material into eleven convenient chapters covering Steele’s life from his childhood years in Ontario until his last days in London, UK, and funeral in Winnipeg.” [Full review at]

Mark Minenko, King’s College London, British Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 33, no. 1

"Macleod’s focus on Steele and his personal experiences is effectively used to paint a thorough and detailed picture of the man. Throughout the book, Macleod provides succinct, informative background sections on the North-West Rebellion, the Klondike gold rush, the origins of the Boer War, and other topics.... [The biography] will be approachable to general readers and valuable to scholars examining the events Steele participated in."
[Full review at]

Scott Dumonceaux, The Northern Review 51

"Focusing on its subject’s life and career, Sam Steele paints a thoughtful portrait of an interesting and important man that, like any good book, raises interesting and important questions.... [T]his biography is likely to remain the definitive work on Steele’s life."

Daniel R. Meister, Canadian Historical Review

"Using correspondence and diaries from the Steele Collection, Rod Macleod reveals a complicated history of an individual whose career and exploits dovetailed with the initial decades of a young country and Canada’s involvement with the South African War and First World War."

Alison J. Rukavina, Texas Tech University

"Deeply-researched and elegantly written, this book brings alive one of the most intriguing characters of Canadian history who has been undeservedly forgotten. Macleod reminds us that the RCMP became an iconic national institution not because of decisions made in Ottawa, but because of the steady judgement and boisterous ambition of men in the field."

Charlotte Gray, Author of The Promise of Canada

AUPresses Book, Jacket, & Journal Show - Scholarly Typographic, United States
1 || Early Life: Orillia and the Red River Expedition, 1848–1873
2 || The North-West Mounted Police, 1873–1885
3 || Steele’s Scouts in the Rebellion, 1885
4 || Frustrated Ambition, 1886–1888
5 || The Love of His Life: Marie Harwood, 1888–1890
6 || Fort Macleod and Family, 1890–1898
7 || The Klondike Gold Rush, 1898–1899
8 || Fighting for Queen and Country: Lord Strathcona’s Horse, 1899–1901
9 || Imperial Interlude: The South African Constabulary, 1901–1907 229
10 || Preparing for War, 1907–1914
11 || An Old Soldier Fades Away: General Steele, 1914–1919
ISBNs: 9781772123791 978-1-77212-379-1 Title: sam steele ISBNs: 9781772124330 978-1-77212-433-0 Title: sam steele ISBNs: 9781772124347 978-1-77212-434-7 Title: sam steele ISBNs: 9781772124354 978-1-77212-435-4 Title: sam steele