Summary and Info
This is a long-overdue study of one of Canada's most important political relationships. Highly readable and engaging, this work details the relationship between Quebec lieutenant Ernest Lapointe and Prime Minister Mackenzie King, showing how the close association of the two affected Canadian history in many important ways. Lapointe was the dominant French Canadian in federal politics from the start of the 1920s to the early years of the Second World War, serving as Minister of Justice and King's Quebec lieutenant. In return for promoting Liberal policies in Quebec, he was given an unusual amount of autonomy in his constituency, and, because the Prime Minister had a poor understanding of the province and of the French language, he was relied upon to give King the French-Canadian perspective. Lapointe's role in maintaining Liberal party unity, and, by extension, national unity, was crucial. Lapointe was equally important when it came to foreign affairs. He was known to take the lead over King, and the isolationist stance of both politicians served to undermine the League of Nations in its dealings with Italy over the invasion of Ethiopia.Lita-Rose Betcherman draws on key primary sources for her material, including the Lapointe Papers, the King Papers, the King Diary, and the media of the times. Ernest Lapointe thus documents Canadian politics and society in a rigourous and accessible manner that will appeal to a scholarly and general audiences.
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