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The Man in the Arena

From Railway Brat to Diplomat

The Man in the Arena

Flanker Press


19.95 CAD

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The Honourable Roger Simmons, PC, is a public policy consultant in Canada. Born at sea, on the Atlantic Ocean near Lewisporte, Newfoundland and Labrador, he spent his childhood years in the bustling railway town of Bishop’s Falls. His early career as an educator and clergyman took him to coastal towns in his beloved rural Newfoundland. As a politician, provincially and federally, he was the voice of the island’s south coast for twenty-five years.   Kicked out of school at fifteen, he clawed his way to the top of the teaching profession

   The tale of a whistle-blower and the below-the-belt payback scheme that couldn’t shut him up
   The Hail Mary moves of an incurable optimist and risk-taker
   Humorous anecdotes of life as an educator, clergyman, politician, and diplomat
   Insider stories of his feuds with Joey Smallwood, his high-profile kneecapping by the taxman, and his passion for the Salvation Army’s redemptive outreach
   Cameos of interloping in the foreign service
As a diplomat, Roger Simmons headed Canada’s mission in Seattle, and for six years he was a senior policy advisor with Gowlings, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He also spent a year in Baghdad as an advisor to the Iraqi parliament and served as an election observer in Ukraine. “[The Man in the Arena is an] engaging and wonderful account documenting the ups and downs of a successful and colourful Newfoundland politician . . . excellent . . . most entertaining.” — John C. Crosbie
“The book is wonderful and for so many reasons... “As a Newfoundlander who tries to keep connected with a place that has shaped my life, Roger’s book provides rich and intriguing insights into life in Newfoundland during an era all but lost on many. The stories of exploits, foolishness and the courageous happenings leave you waiting for the next chapter. “The author weaves his way through decades of experiencing religion, education and politics as a survivor and for the most part emerges unscathed. While this is not touted as a history book, it is a glimpse of our story, seen through the eyes of a man who has remained a proud Newfie, life long salvationist and friend to the countless. “I love this book because I know the main character as well as numerous individuals who are a part of the script. It’s not a book to be read but it is one to be experienced and to be enjoyed as it recaps a period of dramatic change, the survival, service and contribution of one Newfoundlander and one we all appreciate. “It is a really good story…enjoy!”-- General Brian Peddle, Salvation Army --

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About Flanker Press
Turning pages since 1994

Flanker Press is a bright spark in the Newfoundland and Labrador publishing scene. As the province’s most active publisher of trade books, the company now averages twenty new titles per year, with a heavy emphasis on regional non-fiction and historical fiction.

The mission of Flanker Press is to provide a quality publishing service to the local and regional writing community and to actively promote its authors and their books in Canada and abroad.

Now located in Paradise, Flanker Press has grown from a part-time venture in 1994 to a business with eight full-time employees. In the fall of 2004, Flanker Press launched a new imprint, Pennywell Books. This imprint includes literary fiction, short stories, young adult fiction, and children’s books.

Flanker Press Ltd.
PO Box 2522, Station C
St. John's, NL A1C 6K1

TF: 1.866.739.4420

Tel: 709.739.4477

Fax: 709.739.4420

The Latest
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Please review our guidelines for submitting fiction and non-fiction manuscripts to be considered for publication.


We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for our publishing activities.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.