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Published: 18 February 2016

480 Pages | 8 photos


ISBN: 9780199005963

Bookseller Code (AJ)

Citizen Trudeau

An Intellectual Biography, 1944-1965

Allen Mills

  • This important biography, written over a period of ten years and involving considerable original research and new material, traces Trudeau's development as a public intellectual: his extensive education in Canada and abroad, the main influences on his political and philosophical thinking, and his own writings as a student and young activist.
  • Trudeau may in some respects be considered the creator of modern Canada; this book shows how his ideas were the result of much reflection on his part before he went into federal politics in 1965.
  • Where most biographies of Trudeau take a chronological approach, Mills' shows the origins of Trudeau's thinking, particularly in terms of a number of thematic positions on topics that include Quebec, nationalism, constitutionalism, the world, religion.
  • Mills provides context for key moments in postwar Canadian history in which Trudeau was instrumental, including the October Crisis of 1970, his defeat of the sovereignists, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Mills' prose is nothing short of beautifully crafted, witty, and deeply insightful; few biographies read so fluently and intelligently.
  • Surely one of the most learned intellectual biographies of our time, situating Trudeau within the context of both European and Anglo-American thought, from Hobbes to Charles Taylor.
  • One of the most controversial figures in Canadian history, debate remains about the legacy of Pierre Trudeau; almost as many opinions as there are Canadians.
  • While there is no doubt that Trudeau was an intellectual, this biography challenges the received truth that he a high-minded, distant philosopher-ruler inhabiting a world beyond mere mortals; he was in fact a consummate pragmatist.

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