The Hand of God

Claude Ryan and the Fate of Canadian Liberalism, 1925-1971

A magisterial biography of a major Canadian and Quebec public intellectual.


Set against a background of intense religious and cultural change and tensions over the meanings of nationalism and federalism in both Québec and Canada, Michael Gauvreau’s The Hand of God traces the emergence of Claude Ryan as a public intellectual. This is the first comprehensive biography of Ryan based on his personal papers and extensive writings as a social commentator, editorialist, and director of the newspaper Le Devoir.


"Artfully crafted, profoundly insightful, based on extensive scholarly and archival sources, The Hand of God not only offers a vivid and illuminating understanding of a key French-Canadian figure but also opens up a new perspective on Quebec that has not hitherto been accounted for in the historiography. " Jean-Philippe Warren, Concordia University and author of Un supplément d’âme : Les intentions primordiales de Fernand Dumont