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Coleman, William D.

Toronto, University of Toronto Press, c1984. 274pp, paper, ISBN 0-8020-2529-3 (cloth) $30.00, 0-8020-6542-2 (paper) $12.95. (Studies in the Structure of Power: Decision-Making in Canada #11, ISSN 0081-8690) CIP

Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

With such an important subject as the independence movement in Quebec, one would have expected a better focus in this volume.

As part of a doctoral dissertation for the University of Chicago, Coleman has divided his work into two parts; Part I: "Post-1945 Quebec: Dependency or survival?" and Part II: "The Quiet Revolution and after: Integration or independence?" A total of eight chapters are included in these two parts. Three sections at the end of the volume contain detailed footnotes, a chronology of selected events in Quebec, a list of abbreviations, and an index.

In an attempt to reduce the number of pages, smaller type was used, which makes the reading tedious. Another problem for the reader is that italics were not used for French words and quotations. The latter are at times quite lengthy and sprinkled throughout the English text, making reading awkward at best. Unfortunately, Coleman presumes an audience that reads French, and does not provide the courtesy of translating for the quotations.

In reading through the work, one gets the impression that information was gathered and simply juxtaposed, without any attempt at interpretation or analysis. Coleman tells the reader what he proposes to show and afterwards reminds the reader what he has shown in accordance with the format of the dissertation. But the excessive details, coupled with the unclear summary conclusions, make the text laborious and stale.

One looks in vain for any treatment, or even mention, of the key role of the Seigneurial System in Quebec's economic history. The historical "understanding" of the protectors of the province's culture (French) and economy (English) have been obviously omitted. Coleman's attention is continuously focused on social economics. He views the French fact in Canada as a class struggle, with heavy eastern European overtones. Coleman's emotional cynicism is blatant. Putting the present movement into its historical setting would have clarified the issue of independence considerably.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomedey, Que.
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