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Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!: Requiem for a Divided Country Paperback – Mar 11 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (March 11 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140168176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140168174
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #192,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!", Mordecai Richler really slams the Quebec separatists. The book does a good job of documenting Quebec history going back to that whole "revenge of the cradle" thing. Richler backs up something I've long suspected about Quebec separatism - that it's about settling two hundred year old grudges.
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By Troy Parfitt TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 15 2012
Format: Paperback
Mordecai Richler walks us through a history of Quebecois Nationalism to show us it was born out of xenophobic sentiment and blossomed into a movement that was sweeping, pointless, borderline fascist, and utterly insane. Far from being oppressed by les maudites Anglais, Richler documents how the English minority and newcomers to Quebec were subjected to discriminatory laws at the hands of Francophones. The separatist movement tapped into tribal feelings and did little except disrupt the economy, force thousands of Quebeckers to move elsewhere, and creat a lot of animosity. This book deftly deals with the extremism and intolerance of French-Canadian nationalism. It should be required reading for every Canadian, and hopefully it will sell another 85,000 copies when that sordid and silly movement rears its ugly head again. A wonderful book, intelligent and witty. And there there is no retort to it.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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By Canadiana on April 11 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Firstly, this book was impossible to find in Toronto and the GTA, even Chapters did not sell it...the book came out in the 70s but Quebec sovereigntists vouched for this book to be banned because it "bashed" Quebec and the Quebecers....but one must note that Richler was born and raised in Montreal, and he loved Quebec. If you have read any biography on Richler, whether it be by Foran, Kramer, or anyone else, you would know that Richler wanted to be a writer for his time, so, with the use of satire to describe the behaviour of many people in Canada, he wrote about what was happening during the time period when Quebec wanted to be sovereign. I personally am a huge fan of Mordecai Richler and his writing, so although this is a nonfiction essay, got through it fairly quickly because of the humorous elements. If you want to learn more about Quebec and Canada during the sovereigntist movement, a definite read!! I learned a lot about it, and a lot about politicians I've never heard of! Bought this for 12 bucks, shipped in 3 days...very pleased!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By grapemanca on Feb. 21 2006
Format: Paperback
A masterpiece of political incorrectness, Oh Canada, Oh Quebec! is nevertheless a book that all serious students of Canadian history and politics should read. Though it focuses on Quebec's politics in the early 1990's, it still has a lot to say about the timeless struggle between Quebec and Canada.

Richler - one of Canada's great novelists and writers - demonstrates his sly and caustic wit with this book. It has infuriated his opponents of course (especially the separatists and their supplicants), but Richler always demonstrates an honest courage to say what many were (and still are) afraid to say. The insular, xenophobic nature of the Quebecois separatists is a particularly hot target for Richler.

Admittedly, his charges of Quebec anti-semitism seem to go on too long in this book, and he tends to extrapolate from an older generation to modern times a little too easily. Richler also misses the anti-semitism that's been part of Canada as a whole, and thus overemphasizes Quebec's anti-semitism. He thus ironically mimics some of the narrowness he accuses the Quebecois of displaying.

Nevertheless, most of his other charges hit the mark, especially those aimed at the almost child-like language laws and enforcement policies that have pervaded Quebec in the last 30 years or so.

In the end, Oh Canada, Oh Quebec! is a worthwhile part of Canada's political history. I recommend it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rick M. Pilotte TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2012
Format: Paperback
The Quebec issue is complicated and I tend to read anything I can find on the subject. Richler tended use humour but all too often we were left wondering if he was being serious or funny as some of the things said could be true or a joke, and all too often I couldn't tell! So he impeded comprehension with his often attemps at being cute and thus much of the message got lost or obscured in his flipancy. He also had the bothersome habbit of leaving acronims (initials like WASP) unexplained or explained just once then assumed we remembered through the rest of the book, whereas it's normal to write out the full term once at the begginning of a chapter then use the acronym for the rest of the chapter, so I was often searching for their meaning withought results. One acronim (WASP) he never explained even once as he assumed the reader knew it and more and that Quebec was obviously the center of OUR world too. At least one chaper was quite funny and he did shed some light on how predjudiced this corner of Canada can be. And of course some of the facts when you were sure they were facts were quite eye opening.
There were times I was almost shocked at what appeared to be anger or maliciousness in some areas though to be honest I can't recall specifics. I didn't have to force myself to finish but it was something of a chore.
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