Prelude to Quebec's Quiet Revolution: Liberalism versus Neo-nationalism, 1945-1960


366 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7735-0423-0




Jean-Guy Quenneville is an associate professor of political studies at
the University of Saskatchewan.


Michael D. Behiels has specialized in the history and ideologies of Quebec. His works have generally focused on the quest for a regeneration in French Canadian social and political thinking since the turn of the century and, more specifically, on André Laurendeau’s contribution to that quest. All of Behiels’ writings to date have been worth reading. Prelude to Quebec’s Quiet Revolution continues this excellent contribution.

This recent book presents the ideas and positions taken by the parallel and often contending intellectual elites grouped around the core themes of “liberalism” and “neo-nationalism.” The period covered is essentially that of Duplessis’s second regime, 1944 to 1959.

Despite the all-too-obvious temptations to write some easy passages on Duplessis, Trudeau, or Laurendeau, the author has remained unwavering in his scholarly effort. It is also worthwhile to compare this book to other recent publications on Quebec’s ideologies, where all of French Canada’s history, from Cartier to Lévesque, was poured into a marxist or some other mold to the callous disregard of anything that did not fit.

If, as I am told, this is a reworked Ph.D. thesis then we have in this book a model of the way to do it.


Behiels, Michael D., “Prelude to Quebec's Quiet Revolution: Liberalism versus Neo-nationalism, 1945-1960,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,