Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The October Crisis, 1970: An Insider's View

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The October Crisis, 1970: An Insider's View

Article excerpt

William Tetley, The October Crisis, 1970: An Insider's View (Kingston & Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006), xxxviii + 274pp. Cased. £25. ISBN 9780- 7735-3118-5.

At first glance, The October Crisis, written by a former Quebec cabinet minister, appears to be nothing more than another tired first-hand account of the October Crisis. Terrorists, journalists, soldiers, politicians, academics, activists and even a prime minister have offered their own 'authoritative' histories. Nonetheless, Tetley's book is important for two reasons: it is written in English and it defends the government's actions.

When members of the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped a Quebec cabinet minister (Pierre Laporte) and a British trade representative (James Cross) in 1970 to further a campaign for an independent Quebec state, the federal government responded by invoking a draconian piece of wartime legislation. Within months the crisis had abated and the FLQ was virtually wiped out, but at the cost of Laporte's life. The October Crisis traces the history of the FLQ within the context of the Quiet Revolution, and provides a behindthe- scenes account of the crisis and the aftermath. However, this is not a narrative history of the crisis. In a literature dominated by FLQ apologists or critics of the state, Tetley argues that the use of war powers was justified. Most of the 21 chapters are organised thematically to deal with questions that have long dominated the literature on the crisis: Was the War Measures Act justified? Were there plans to set up a provisional government? Should governments negotiate with terrorists? Did the FLQ constitute a genuine threat to law and order?

The current literature on the crisis is primarily written in French and by critics of the state. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.