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Della M. M. Stanley.

Halifax, Nimbus Publishing, c1984.
262pp, paper, $14.95.
ISBN 0-920852-24-6.

Grades 10 and up.

Reviewed by Catherine R. Cox.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

This book on Louis Robichaud started as a doctoral thesis at the University of New Brunswick. Expanded into a book, the material succeeds without being unreadable, unlike so many theses. Delia Stanley had access to important resources for her research-the files of Robert Pichette and those of Mr. Justice Mel-drum, as well as the Byrne Commission papers and personal interviews with Edward G. Byrne and Louis Robichaud.

This is a political, not a personal biography, though the author does tend to be sympathetic to Louis Robichaud, who was the first elected Acadian premier of New Brunswick. The book gives a brief account of his background and education, but devotes its major part to the Robichaud decade from 1960 to 1970. The major topics that held our attention during that tempestuous decade hold our attention in Dr. Stanley's book as well. We go over with relish the details of the introduction of the New Brunswick flag, the institution of the equal opportunity program, centennial year, bilingualism and the Official Languages Act, This was an important time in Canada's and New Brunswick's history, and there has been very little material written on New Brunswick's role. This book was needed and it more than adequately fills an important gap.

The table of contents is topical, providing easy access to the subject under research. There is an index, a bibliography, some useful charts and footnotes at the back. Although the approach is scholarly, the work is readable by anyone who has an interest in the recent political history of New Brunswick. There are a few black-and-white illustrations of the major people. Although the bias is not obtrusive, as I said, the author is sympathetic to her protagonist. Robichaud's opponents are not held in any favourable light but the accounts of his run-ins with K.C. Irving and Charlie Van Home are accurate and documented. A more amusing but not so scholarly account of Robichaud's relationship with K.C, Irving (a New Brunswick industrialist) may be found in J.E. Belliveau's Little Louis and the Giant K.C. (Lancelot Press, 1980).

Recommended for public and school libraries where New Brunswick history is on the curriculum.

Catherine R. Cox, Moncton H. S., Moncton, NB.
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