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Young Trudeau: 1919-1944: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada Paperback – May 17 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas Gibson Books; First Edition edition (May 17 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771067496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771067495
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 15.2 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Graeme A. Barry on May 14 2007
Format: Paperback
Widely revered and reviled as Canada's fifteenth prime minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000) cast "a silhouette sublime across the canvas of his time." Despite this notoriety, there have been few detailed examinations of his formative years. In Young Trudeau, the first volume of a three-volume intellectual biography, Max and Monique Nemni attempt to fill this historical void. Although their effort contains some flaws, the coauthors contribute to a more expansive understanding of Trudeau's political philosophy.

Unfortunately, this book has been overshadowed by Citizen of the World, the excellent first volume of a biography written by John English, which describes Trudeau's life from his birth to his election as federal Liberal Party leader. By concentrating exclusively on his early years, the coauthors of Young Trudeau are more detailed in documenting and analyzing the conflicting intellectual currents that affected the future prime minister's educational evolution.

Max Nemni, a political science professor, and his wife, Monique Nemni, a linguistics professor, served as editors (1995-2000) of Cite Libre, a magazine co-founded by Pierre Trudeau in 1950 during Quebec's Quiet Revolution. Trudeau befriended the coauthors, and gave them access to his private papers, although this is not an authorized biography. The two professors also consulted extensive secondary sources that are discussed in the endnotes.

The major focus of this book's content is a study of Trudeau's twenty-five year socialization process in the religious, political, social, and economic context of French-Catholic Quebec from his birth to his departure for Harvard University in the fall of 1944.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 9 2012
Format: Paperback
This biography covers the first twenty-five years in the sheltered and somewhat privileged life of Pierre Eliot Trudeau as a young student growing up in Quebec during the Great Depression and WW II. While most studies on this famous Canadian quickly summarize this early stage of his life with only a cursory mention of his being born into wealth, of having bi-cultural parentage, acquiring a strict Jesuit education, and travelling widely, the authors of this work take a different tack. With the aid of Trudeau's personal papers, they do some serious probing into what appears to be some significant social and political undercurrents at work in his very active and somewhat impressionable mind. First, the reader learns that the young Trudeau was definitely a prisoner of a very authoritarian French-Canadian culture that viewed the church and the state as indivisibly one. Though a serious reader and deep thinker, Pierre always deferred to the church when it to reading books from the proscribed list. His teachers and mentors were forever inculcating him with the notion that the church and state were partners in a holy cause to make Quebec culturally strong and politically independent of the rest of Canada. Anything outside its borders was deemed potentially heathen, communistic and dangerously anti-French. Then, we see Trudeau working very hard in school to understand his role in a society that was trying to distinguish itself as separate and distinct from a modern republican France within the context of an international war, even if that meant allying with fascist causes that identified with the likes of Petain, Mussolini and Hitler.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No matter what your politics, or who you've read before, this book (and the sequel, which I've only just started) will enrich your understanding of Quebec and Pierre Trudeau.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Franklin Hilliard on Feb. 14 2011
Format: Paperback
Anyone who thinks Pierre Elliott Trudeau is a hero of Canada, a Canadian nationalist or even a democrat will get a rude shock from this well-researched book. What it shows is that Trudeau was a millionaire dilettante during WWII who ducked military service while he plotted with friends for the violent overthrow of the government. The reason for such a coup? He wanted to establish a Catholic, fascist state modeled on the one in Vichy, France.

There is also plenty of grist for anyone who wonders where Trudeau's Marxist and internationalist leanings came from.

For those of us who deplore what Canada has become since Trudeau introduced top-down, court-made law and replaced bottom-up, democratic, Parliamentary law; here is all the evidence we need. The problem with this book is that most Canadians have never heard of it; never read it.

If they had, and if it had come out earlier, our country would be a different, and much better place.
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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Drinse on March 14 2007
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book, out of interest. It turned out to be surprisingly candid about a man I have always despised. Touted as the great intellectual poet-politician, he was actually a totalitarian communist-sympathizer in disguise (at least in public). We owe our decline as a nation to his socialist policies, his "official bilingualism", his "multiculturalism", and his "Charter of Rights and Freedoms". We were doing fine before these were instituted. Nothing has been as good in Canada since he came to power. You only have to look around to see that, unless you are blind, or stunningly politically correct. It was good to see a book that actually told the truth about this supremely self-confident egomaniac, and to be able to understand why he was what he was, and why he did to us what he did.
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