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History Post-confederation (1867-)


A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy

by (author) Charles Bronfman & Howard Green

Initial publish date
Oct 2017
Post-Confederation (1867-), Business, Rich & Famous
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
  • CD-Audio

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


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.


About the authors

As chairman of The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies Inc., Charles Bronfman oversees a family of charitable foundations operating in Israel, the United States and Canada. The Philanthropies are committed to encouraging young people to strengthen their knowledge and appreciation of their history, heritage and cultural identity. This commitment is reflected in Canada through Historica Canada and the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. Birthright Israel is the highly successful program in which a gift from one generation to another encourages young Jewish adults worldwide between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six to discover their roots through a ten-day live-and-learn trip to Israel. Bronfman retired following a fifty-year career with Seagram Company Limited. For twenty-two years, he was chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos.

Howard Green is a journalist, broadcaster and author. He is one of the founders and builders of Business News Network in Canada, where he anchored from 1999 to 2014. Green is best known for hosting BNN’s flagship interview show, Headline with Howard Green, for six years, where Green interviewed everyone from Alan Greenspan to Tony Blair. Green is also the author of Banking on America.

Charles Bronfman's profile page

HOWARD GREEN is the anchor of Headline, the flagship interview program on Business News Network (BNN), where he interviews top CEOs, decision makers and market players.


Howard Green's profile page


  • National Business Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“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

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