The Shawinigan Fox: How Jean Chretien Defied the Elites and Reshaped Canada

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the shawinigan fox

JEAN CHRÉTIEN’s critics have said he was a man with a short attention span — a small-town hick who stumbled his way to become Canada’s 20th prime minister. Whatever credit the Chrétien government deserved was often given to Paul Martin, the heir apparent who was touted to be the brains behind the operation.

But while Chretien was the subject of ridicule, he was quietly giving his competitors — both inside and outside of the Liberal party — a master class in politics, leadership, and nation-building. His decisions, which often ran counter to elite opinion, fundamentally reshaped and strengthened Canada as it entered the 21st century.

Relying on new evidence, detailed analysis and exclusive interviews with former cabinet ministers, provincial premiers, political staff, strategists, and high-ranking bureaucrats – many of them speaking publicly for the first time – bestselling author and historian Bob Plamondon tells the surprising inside story of the Chretien years.

Until now, the story of Chretien’s time as prime minister has been largely misunderstood. Plamondon sets the record straight and provides compelling lessons about political leadership and problem-solving from a critical chapter in Canadian history.

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