A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy

by Charles Bronfman, Howard Green

On Sale: 10/24/2017

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A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy

by Charles Bronfman, Howard Green

On Sale: 10/24/2017


National Business Book Award

About the Book

The nationally bestselling memoir of the scion of a Canadian business empire

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Charles Bronfman has decided it is time to tell his story. The Montreal Gazette praises this telling as “detailed and surprisingly candid.”

Born in 1931, an heir to the fortune of the fabulously wealthy Bronfmans (“the Rothschilds of the New World”), Charles grew up in a twenty-room mansion. Via its control of the distilling giant Seagram, the Bronfman family dominated the liquor business, with brands such as Crown Royal, V.O. and Chivas Regal. By the 1980s, Seagram was the biggest shareholder of DuPont, and by the 1990s, the family’s wealth was in the billions, culminating in the $35-billion sale of Seagram to France’s Vivendi, which led to financial and family disaster. In Distilled, Charles reflects on all of it—his relationship with his parents and his brother, Edgar; working in the family business; landing Canada’s first big-league baseball franchise (the Montreal Expos), leading a philanthropic life by promoting Canadian identity through Heritage Minutes and supporting Israel through countless innovative initiatives, including the globally respected Birthright Israel; and how the Bronfman family splintered over the sale of Seagram.

Much has been written about his father, Sam, but until now there has been no public record of Charles Bronfman’s thoughts about his life, family, career and significant accomplishments. Distilled is just such a record, chronicling key events in the life of the heir of a Canadian dynasty.


Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Candid, engaging and at times poignant.” - Maclean's

“Detailed and surprisingly candid.” - Montreal Gazette

“An inspiring and unusually candid memoir . . . a well-written, easy-to-read tell-all.” - Winnipeg Free Press

“A magical and magnetic story of how one extraordinary man optimistically and tenaciously navigated his values and vision triumphantly through business, philanthropy, education, and the public interest without ever losing his sense of compassion--or balance. A true original. And a great read!” - The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Supreme Court of Canada

“I have known Charles Bronfman for fifty years. During that period he has shown great strengths as a visionary business leader, an innovative philanthropist and as a passionate Canadian who made a major contribution to the unity and prosperity of our country . . . a fascinating book.” - The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada

“Charles Bronfman is a rare combination of generosity and determination. A lover of Zion and a beloved leader of his people. Above all, he is a real friend--in wintry days, and in the blossoming spring.” - Shimon Peres, former president and prime minister of Israel and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

“Charles Bronfman was a great statesman and leader with remarkable vision during his tenure as a Major League Baseball owner. . . . He brought not only wisdom but integrity to our sport . . . Distilled is compelling and absolutely fascinating to read.” - Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner Emeritus, Major League Baseball

“Charles Bronfman is a passionate advocate of Canada and the Canadian identity . . . . He has defined what it truly means to be a philanthropist in Canada. His story serves as inspiration to us all.” - Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443448482
  • ISBN 10: 1443448486
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 10/24/2017
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price:19.99 CAD
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)

Distilled by Charles Bronfman, Howard Green

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