With Friends Like These

Entangled Nationalisms and the Canada-Quebec-France Triangle, 1944-1970

David Meren

  • Published: 2012. Paperback 2013
  • Subject Listing: History
  • Bibliographic information: 320 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

One of the most enduring images of Quebec's Quiet Revolution is Charles de Gaulle proclaiming "Vive le Québec libre!" from the balcony of Montreal City Hall in 1967. The French president's provocative act laid bare Canada's unity crisis and has since dominated both anglophone and francophone interpretations of the Canada-Quebec-France triangle in the modern era.

With Friends like These demystifies this cri du balcon by shifting the focus from de Gaulle to the broader domestic and international forces at play. David Meren traces the evolution of Quebec's special relationship with France after the Second World War and reveals that the resulting clash of nationalisms - French, Québécois, and Canadian - was fuelled not only by personalities and events but also by the efforts to respond to the power and influence of the United States in an increasingly interconnected world. More than just a herald of Quebec's new place in French international policy, de Gaulle's cri du balcon and its repercussions were the result of concerns on both sides of the Atlantic about the acceleration of a US-dominated globalization.

By seeking to understand, rather than simply condemn, aspects of Quebec, Gaullist, and Canadian nationalism, Meren casts doubt on established interpretations of events and exposes the complexity of a rising international interest in Canadian affairs.
David Meren is an assistant professor in theDépartement d'histoire at the Université de Montréal.

"With Friends Like These is the definitive history of the Canada-Quebec-France triangle. Drawing on extraordinary archival research, David Meren reveals how stunned Canadian politicians were by the depth of de Gaulle's commitment to an independent Quebec and he explores the complex national interests at stake during this formative post-war period. Erudite and well-written, this book is an immeasurably valuable contribution to scholarship."
-John English, general editor of Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto

"Analytically sophisticated and original in approach, With Friends Like These explores the complex triangular relations between France, Canada, and Quebec during the thirty years following the Second World War, and particularly the tensions following de Gaulle's cri du balcon in 1967. David Meren argues that only when set against the prevailing international reality of foreign policy, economic relations, and cultural exchanges can greater insights be gained into the motives and interests that ruled the day. This exceptional work will forever change how we interpret a crucial period of French, Quebec, and Canadian history."
-Jean Lamarre, Professor, Department of History, Royal Military College of Canada

Introduction: In the Shadow of the General

Part 1 - Best of Times, Worst of Times: TheCanada-Quebec-France Triangle, 1944-1960

1 Atlanticism in Common, Atlanticism in Question

2 Stagnation amid Growth, Growth amid Stagnation

3 "More necessary than ever": The Evolution of CulturalExchanges

Part 2 - The Clash of Nations: The Sources of TriangularTensions

4 A andquot;Frenchandquot; Fact: The Cultural Impetus

5 Vive le Quluge: Triangular Relations andTriangular Tensions, 1960-1970

7 Parisian pied--terre: The Emergence of TriangularTensions

8 Crisis: From Montreal to Libreville

9 Missions Impossible? Triangular Economic Relations

10 Rivalry, Recrimination, and Renewal: Triangular CulturalRelations

11 Is Paris Turning? Enduring Triangular Relations