From Bourassa to Bourassa

Wilderness to Restoration, Second Edition


Robert Bourassa, a pariah after losing power to the separatist Parti Québécois in the 1976 election, emerged a decade later from political exile to lead his party back to power. As he said: "I succeeded my successor. " Claude Ryan, formerly the respected publisher of Le Devoir, had led the Quebec Liberal Party and the federalist coalition to a decisive victory in the 1980 referendum on Quebec sovereignty, but the uneasy alliance of Ryan and Pierre Trudeau did not survive the prime minister’s unilateral patriation of the Canadian constitution. This contributed to Ryan’s defeat in the 1981 Quebec election and to Bourassa’s restoration. First published to critical acclaim in 1984, this second edition of From Bourassa to Bourassa brings the story up-to-date, recounting Bourassa’s landslide election victory in 1985 and his subsequent role in the Meech Lake Accord and the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement, the two issues that largely defined the decade of the 1980s for Quebec and for Canada.


"A remarkable story, remarkably well told. Indispensable reading for any student of those critical years in Quebec, and Canadian, history. " Anthony Wilson-Smith, Maclean's ----- "MacDonald has a remarkable sense of storytelling, American-style, of a political portrait rapidly brushed but constantly retouched, which reveals the profound nature of the men in the story. " Gerard Pelletier ----- "As a political columnist, MacDonald has acquired an undisputed credibility and is regarded as one of the best informed analysts of the Quebec political milieu. " Pierre O'Neill, Le Devoir ----- "A good book. Honest, warm, direct, readable. MacDonald's characters are human. They are all three-dimensional. They are alive. " Pierre Bourgault, The Gazette ----- "An informative, entertaining lesson on how Quebec works. It is a measure of MacDonald's craftsmanship that even though everyone knows how it ends, the reader gets caught up in the suspense of the events as they unfold. " Gretta Chambers, Quill & Quire