THE DREAM OF NATION: A SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF QUEBEC
Susan Mann Trofimenkoff.
Volume 11 Number 3.
Do we really need or want another answer to the perennial Canadian question of what makes Quebec different? The author has brought a fresh approach to this well-trod ground, however, in this first English -language, one-volume overview of Quebec history. As professor of Canadian, French Canadian, and women's history at the University of Ottawa, she has drawn on her areas of expertise to trace not only the development of nationalism but also that of the feminist and labour movements in Quebec.
If church, language, and family have been the cornerstones of French culture since the Conquest, then the effects of an expanding government bureaucracy, the electronic media, international labour unions, and the changing role of women in the economic and cultural life of Canada's "problem-child" deserves close scrutiny. Trofimenkoff adeptly underscores the contrast between the Quebec's idealistic (and often self-interested) analysis of their society and the stark realities of life for the average Québecois. She then, however, succumbs to a similar temptation attributing a central role in the referendum results to feminist ideology. Her suggestion that the famous "Yvette" rallies tipped the scales against the PQ is certainly a moot point since, as she admits, the male/female distribution of votes is unknown.
This book would be a valuable resource for senior students, either as core or project material. A select bibliography citing both French and English sourses follows each chapter. It is well-organized, concise, and takes the reader from colonial days to the 1980 referendum. It has the added attraction of being one of the few books that acknowledges the contribution made by women to the early physical and cultural development of Canada.
Barbara A. Macrae, Brampton, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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