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Trudeau Transformed: The Shaping of a Statesman 1944-1965: 2 (Trudeau, Son of Quebec, Father of Canada) [Kindle Edition]

Max Nemni , Monique Nemni
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $19.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

This groundbreaking biography continues the story begun in Young Trudeau, taking Canada's legendary Prime Minister from his pro-fascist youth all the way to his entry into federal politics as a crusading Liberal democrat.

When he went to Harvard in 1944, Pierre Trudeau was twenty-five, a recent graduate of the University of Montreal Law School; true to his elite Catholic-French education, he had been till recently pro-fascist, and he disliked democracy. Years of graduate study at Harvard, then the Sorbonne, then the London School of Economics exposed him to new ideas, as did his hitchhiking travels around the world. Returned to Quebec as a new man, he engaged in educating workers and other jobs that made him a famous defender of federal democracy. He entered Parliament in 1965, within three years of rocketing, Obama-like, to the very top.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Young Trudeau: 1919-1944:
"I was extremely shocked." 
— Lysiane Gagnon, Globe and Mail

"Stunning. . . . The book offers a counterpoint to Mr. Trudeau's image as the federalist bulwark of liberal values." 
— Ingrid Peretz, Globe and Mail

"Mesmerizing fun to read. . . . The Nemnis' book is one of the truly great contributions to Canadian political history." 
— Terence Corcoran, National Post

"What a different Pierre Trudeau, a dangerous, narrow Pierre Trudeau. . . . Now we know in vivid, painful detail courtesy of the Nemnis' arresting book, that the young Pierre Trudeau was no Talbot Papineau."
— Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

MAX and MONIQUE NEMNI are former university professors who in the 1990s acted as editors of the famous magazine Cité Libre that was founded by intellectuals including Trudeau. When they asked their friend if they could write an "intellectual biography" of him, he agreed, throwing open all of his voluminous papers (he kept notes on everything he read). This second volume of their biography has taken five years to research and write. Although the husband and wife team are bilingual and live in Toronto, they write in French. The translation is provided by GEORGE TOMBS, a well-regarded translator based in Montreal.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1901 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0771051255
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (October 17, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,341,160 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Detailed December 29, 2012
By Mike B
This is a very detailed study of Pierre Trudeau during these 21 years. The emphasis throughout is on the political developments and changes within Trudeau and of his surrounding world.

I wish to emphasize the word "detailed". John English wrote two volumes on Trudeau's life; the first volume of about five hundred pages covered 1919 thru 1968. The first two volumes of Max and Monique Nemni go up to 1965 and combined together they amount to over eight hundred pages. In some ways the books of Nemni and English are complimentary. The English biography has more on Trudeau's friendships, particularly with women. In the Nemni volumes we get a much closer picture of Quebec life with its inward political stagnation during the 1940's and 1950's.

The Nemni's write with a great deal of enthusiasm and do an excellent work on making one feel the transitions that Trudeau underwent in his political-philosophical thought processes - first at Harvard, then Paris and in London under the tutelage of Harold Laski at the London School of Economics. When Trudeau studied at Harvard amid the tumult of the final months of the Second World War he began to realize how cloistered his upbringing had been in Quebec. His thinking began to take on a more democratic perspective and moved completely away from his previous nationalist-corporatist philosophy.

The book gives us a first-hand look at the theocratic Quebec state of the era with both Duplessis and the Roman Catholic Church at the helm. They controlled the province as their own fiefdom - there was censorship, education of French Canadians was dominated by the Church, elections were rigged and Duplessis intimidated, psychologically and physically, opponents, particularly unions.
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This book, and the first volume that preceded it, follow Trudeau's painful intellectual migration from the mixture of medieval obscurantism of pre-revolutionary France frozen in Quebec's incestuous enclave of bitter victimhood, willful ignorance and fascistic racism; to a weird, half grasped mix of vague liberalism and thoughtless socialism. Unfortunately the sympathetic authors, like Trudeau, fail to grasp the deep richness of the democratic, liberal ethos. The silly presumptions they deploy about socialism show that, like that benighted "Belle Province", the path from darkness to light is too strenuous and alien a trip to complete, and they retreat to the comfort of the pack mentality of the traitorous intellectuals Trudeau denounced, but could never really himself transcend. The book is a treasure of detail exposing the depravity of Quebec culture, and the failure of Trudeau in his endeavor to bring light where darkness prevailed.
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