The Passionate Debate: The Social and Politcal Ideas of Quebec Nationalism 1920-1945

Michael Oliver

The manuscript for this book was completed in 1956 but never published. Thirty-five years later, The Passionate Debate presents a remarkably fresh and comprehensive history of the ideas of Quebec nationalism—essential reading if one is to understand current Canadian political events. In The Passionate Debate Oliver demonstrates that there was, during the 1920s and the 1930s, an embryonic left wing in Québécois nationalism, made up of people who put freedom and equality at the very top of their list of political goals. The book traces this thread of left-of-centre thought through Henry Bourassa, Olivar Asselin, the reviewLa Relève, and André Laurendeau, and contrasts it with the right-wing nationalist ideas of Canon Lionel Groulx and most of the contributors to reviews like L'Action française, L'Action nationale and La Nation/ These ideas evolve against the backdrop of the decline of a rural culture and the growth of industrialization in Quebec and the penetration into French Canada of European doctrines, ranging from anti-Semitic French nationalism and fascism to liberal Catholicism and social democratic personalism.In the preface the author clearly outlines where he was a poor prophet in 1956 and how relevant on must fundamental points the book still is today. Included is a previously-unpublished letter from Pierre Elliott Trudeau, written in 1956, which offers an insightful critique of Oliver's manuscript.

History 1998

Michael Oliver is currently an adjunct professor at Carleton University.
Out of print