PQ: Rene Levesque & the Parti Quebecois in Power


434 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7715-9793-2




Reviewed by Eric P. Mintz

Eric P. Mintz is an associate professor of political science and
environmental studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial
University of Newfoundland.


Since the election of the Parti Québécois, Quebec and Canada have gone through one of the most crucial periods of their histories. Journalist Graham Fraser reviews some of the major events since 1976, focusing on the major personalities in Quebec politics. Unfortunately, the account ends in June 1984, before the change in the P.Q. position on sovereignty and the resignation of René Levesque.

A general reader interested in politics and history would likely find the book enjoyable, since Fraser provides a wealth of detail about the reaction of leading political figures to important events. Although some chapters lack thematic unity because of the basically chronological organization, the book is generally well written. The author’s treatment of the highly emotional issues of Quebec politics is nicely balanced. However, the author steers clear of providing an assessment of Lévesque and the P.Q. government and gives only a skimpy conclusion in the epilogue. Discussion of the “ordinary” issues faced by the P.Q. government is rather spotty, and thus the reader may find it difficult to understand the overall strengths and weaknesses of the P.Q. government and its changing ideological character. In short, the book provides a series of interesting vignettes that could serve as useful background for a more profound analysis of contemporary Quebec politics.


Fraser, Graham, “PQ: Rene Levesque & the Parti Quebecois in Power,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/36247.