During the First World War, Henri Bourassa – fierce Canadian nationalist, politician, and journalist from Quebec – took centre stage in the national debates on Canada’s participation in the war, its imperial ties to Britain, and Canada’s place in the world. In Duty to Dissent, Geoff Keelan draws upon Bourassa’s voluminous editorials in Le Devoir, the newspaper he founded in 1910, to trace Bourassa’s evolving perspective on the war’s meaning and consequences. What emerges is not a simplistic sketch of a local journalist engaged in national debates, as most English Canadians know him, but a fully rendered portrait of a Canadian looking out at the world.
By situating Bourassa within a larger panorama that connects him to prominent war resisters from around the globe, Keelan offers fresh insight into one of Canada’s most influential historical figures, reshaping our understanding of why Quebec’s position on the Great War differed so radically from the rest of Canada.
1 Fais ce que dois!
2 The Duty of Canada at the Present Hour
3 What Do We Owe England?
4 The Soul of Canada
5 The Possibility of Peace
6 The Wall of Deceit
Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index
Geoff Keelan received a doctorate from the University of Waterloo, was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University, and works at Library and Archives Canada as an access archivist. He has published articles on Canada, Quebec, and the First World War in the Canadian Historical Review, the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, and Canadian Military History.