MONTREAL - Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says he doesn't fear the "verdict of history" that will be delivered on his time in office.

Mulroney, who was launching his controversial memoirs at a reception on Monday evening, stood by his record as prime minister between 1984 and 1993.

In recent interviews timed to coincide with the book's launch, Mulroney has stirred controversy with scathing attacks against late Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau and former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard.

The book was already sitting the near the top of bestseller lists by the time Mulroney addressed Monday's crowd, which included Quebec Premier Jean Charest, federal Public Works Minister Michael Fortier and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

Mulroney stayed away from his earlier comments, choosing instead to defend such initiatives as the GST and the Meech Lake accord.