- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Canada; Canadian First edition (Sept. 2 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345807626
- ISBN-13: 978-0345807625
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 440 g
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was Hardcover – Sep 2 2014
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FINALIST 2014 – QWF Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction
LONGLISTED 2015 – BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
"[Chantal Hébert] may be the country's most consistently insightful analyst of federal politics, especially as it plays in Quebec."
"Hébert possesses an unparalleled aptitude for political analysis."
"[French Kiss] not only reads the entrails of the last federal election, but offers a sober--and sobering--assessment of the Canadian political firmament as we speak. . . . It's very good work.
About the Author
CHANTAL HÉBERT is a national affairs writer with the Toronto Star and a guest columnist for L'Actualité. She is a weekly participant on the political panel "At Issue" on CBC's The National as well as Radio-Canada's Les Coulisses du pouvoir. Her first book is French Kiss: Stephen Harper's Blind Date with Quebec. Hébert is a past recipient of the Hyman Solomon prize for excellence in journalism and public policy.
JEAN LAPIERRE is a political commentator for CTV and TVA television networks. He has a daily commentary on the Cogeco radio stations and on CJAD Montreal. In his previous life as a Member of Parliament he served in John Turner's and Paul Martin's Liberal cabinets. In between he was a founding member of the Bloc Québécois. The author lives in Ottawa, ON; Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine, QC.
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No doubt reflecting the deep-seated divisions of the time, the author gives each of the protagonists their day in court so to speak. This results in a good deal of repetition and a general sense of déjà vu after the second go around. Nevertheless, the author is a skilled writer and has the journalistic nose for what drives the reader's interest in a story which gives the narrative a certain sense of urgency.
One is rather disappoint at these leaders unwillingness to share their doubts about the consequences of an outcome in favor of separation or the “real” intention of the various factions within the yes-side with other members in their bloc or the voters. This may be yet another example of Chomsky’s manufactured democracy where a vote is held but the real question is not on the ballot. Not a brilliant day for Quebec politicians.
For those familiar with the issue of separation, most of this will be rather ho-hum. For readers who did not live through those times or those who slept through them, this is a must read as it will provide a vibrant account of a challenging time for Canada.
Reading these personal accounts years after the fact, it is frankly shocking to learn that neither side of the referendum had a clear picture of next steps. It is equally as troubling that at least one Premier was hedging his bets by studying alternatives such as parts of the west splitting away from Canada or joining the USA. This book changed many of my perceptions of the leaders involved, mostly more negative.
The book is presented as a serious of interviews in which the two authors have garnered some quite remarkable information so not your usual present a theory and try and convince the reader the correctness of that particular theory.
Just a really interesting and quite enlightening read!!!
Twenty years ago, Canada came within 54,000 votes (less than 1%) of being permanently reconfigured as a nation. While most material on the 1995 referendum focuses on the background and political machinations leading up to its razor-thin result, Chantal's Hebert's book is the first to concentrate on the counterfactual of a Separatist triumph.
Through interviews with key players decades after-the-fact, Hebert paints a somber and fascinating portrait of a post-Yes Canada on day zero: the tensions and ambiguities that would have ensued on both sides of the political fence, the constitutional and economic crises that would have likely occurred, and the 'vibrations' that would have emanated from other provinces (e.g., unbeknownst to most, Saskatchewan entertained its own succession in the event of a Yes vote).
Whatever one's political leanings, this is an important historical document of a point in time in which a sovereign nation came within an inch of own self-inflicted demise; a harrowing account of the Canada that almost wasn't.
Can't wait to read the same narrative written about my native Scotland's recent flirtation with independence
So much inside information from so many key players from that time, as well as plenty of historical information as to the events leading up to 1995 (the constitution in 1981, failed Meech and Charlottetown accords etc.)
The book also does a great job illustrating just how much uncertainty the country would have woken up to had the vote swung just 0.5% the other way. We'll never know how it would have played out, but the boom certainly raises all kinds of interesting scenarios.
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