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Book Reviews 497 Le deuil d'un pays imagine: Reves, luttes et deroute du Canada franyais. MARCEL MARTEL. Ottawa: Les presses de l'Universite d'Ottawa avec le Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-frans;aise 1999· Pp. 203. $24.00 From the first glance at Le deuil d'un pays imagine: Reves, luttes et deroute du Canada franyais, the evocative words Mourning for an Imagined Country: Dreams, Struggles and Downfall jump out to draw us into Marcel Martel's study to seek an explanation for what appears to be a sorrowful, shocking, and troubling title. The author does not mince his words as he uses descriptions such as discomfort, rupture, breaking down, exclusion, and disillusion. Reading these highly charged emotional words is like watching patients struggle with a series of ever invading illnesses that take over the body, its vibrant functions, and desire to live. As we read with great interest the extremely dense pages ofMartel's study, we begin to grasp the complexity of the historical and political relationships between Quebec and the other francophone communities of Canada from 1867 to 1975· Originally prepared as a PHD dissertation at York University, the five chapters of the book permit the reader to understand the imagined societal project of French Canada with the obstacles and challenges that such an endeavour has entailed throughout these one hundred years. Chapter l describes the components of the French-Canadian societal project, presenting some ofthe key players and the events that moulded their actions. Chapters 2. and 3 explore the organization Le Conseil de la vie frans;aise en Amerique, a major pillar in the institutional network serving the francophones ofCanada up until the 1960s. Finally, chapters 4 and 5focus our attention on the 1960s and 1970s, a period marked by a widening gap between Quebec and the other francophone groups of Canada. The study guides us through the changes that have occurred throughout the hundred-year time frame. From a concept and discourse of a francophone nation based on the solid foundations of the French language, the Roman Catholic faith, and its supporting institutions protecting the francophones ofCanada, we see an evolution to a network across North America. In the mid-twentieth century, we witness Quebec questioning the concept of a French Canada based on these traditional pillars. Emphasis turns to the concept of nation-state rather than two founding nations within a confederation ofprovinces. Finally, we see the results ofthe rupture caused by questioning these foundations - an everwidening gap and sense of discomfort among francophones across Canada. The author offers a glimpse ofhope for future relationships. He 498 The Canadian Historical Review suggests that we must recognize the differences that exist among francophone groups, especially in regard to constitutional changes, and abandon a pessimistic discourse about francophone minorities outside Quebec. True dialogue could be the result ofsuch a change in mindset. Such a general work as Martel's cannot offer the details to quench the desire to see more clearly the dynamics of these complex, complicated, and rich relationships. Martel himselfadmits to this limitation. Despite this, his work opens our minds to many questions that further studies could try to analyze. It begs for specific and in-depth examinations ofthe relationship between Quebec and each ofthe francophone communities outside its boundaries. As we begin the new millennium and witness many people questioning the concept of nation, this book is a pertinent read in such a politically charged climate. Martel's study fills in some gaps about the issues that have led us to the present relationships in the variety of Canadian francophone worlds. The book is a worthwhile addition to our reading list if we wish to have a historical and political perspective about the conflicts and challenges that Canadian francophones have lived and · continue to live. Martel has successfully given us an insight into the past hundred years of a complex relationship through his clever and wellstructured analysis based on an abundant and rich documentation. BARBARA LE BLANC Universite Sainte-Anne Le mouvement ouvrierjuifau Canada, 1904-1920. SIMON BELKIN. Sillery, Quebec: Septentrion 1999. Pp. 390. $29.95 Ce volume, magnifiquement traduit du yiddish par Pierre Anctil, a d'abord ete publie...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 497-498
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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