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 Featured Title
Paul Litt  

$39.95 Hardcover
Release Date: 10/3/2016
ISBN: 9780774834049    

424 Pages


About the Book

In 1968, Canadians dared to take a chance on a new kind of politician. Pierre Trudeau, a relative newcomer to federal politics, became the leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister that April. Within two months, he led the Liberals to victory in a snap election. His meteoric rise to power was driven by Trudeaumania, an explosive mix of passion and fear fueled by media hype and nationalist ambition. Exhilarated crowds greeted his appearances across the country. He became a sex symbol whose image was burnished by the star-making machinery of posters, fashion, and hit songs.

What exactly was going on in Canada in 1968? And did it matter?

This book is the definitive account of Trudeaumania. Combining a lively narrative with images reflecting the rich visual culture of the times, Paul Litt’s carefully considered cultural history traces what happened when the fabled spirit of the sixties -- human rights, ban-the-bomb, Vietnam, sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelia, the counterculture -- met the excitement of the Centennial and Expo 67. Canadians wanted to modernize their nation, differentiate it from the United States, and thwart the threat of Quebec separatism. Within this charged setting, Trudeau was seen as a transformative figure who would rejuvenate the nation in keeping with the idealistic hopes of the times.

Litt’s evocative account of the times shows that the mania that swept Canada fifty years ago was not just a sixties crazy moment. It was a passionate quest for a new Canada that would define the values of Canadians for decades to come.

About the Author(s)

Paul Litt is a professor in the Department of History and the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. His research explores the intersection of culture, nationalism, and the mass media in twentieth-century Canada. He is the author of several books, including The Muses, the Masses and the Massey Commission and Elusive Destiny: The Political Vocation of John Napier Turner.

Table of Contents

Prelude: Kiss Power!
Introduction: Sex and the Body Politic
1 The Sixties, Modified
2 Constructing the Peaceable Kingdom: Nationalism and Canadian Identity
3 Celebrating the Simunation: The Centennial and Expo 67
4 "A Liberal to Watch": Pre-Mania Pierre
5 Coy Wonder: How to Win a Leadership Race without Even Running
6 Pop Goes the Image: A Mod Candidate for a Mod Canada
7 Reel to Real I: The Liberal Leadership Campaign
8 The Just Society, Participatory Democracy, and Other Platformities
9 Reel to Real II: The Federal Election Campaign
10 Split Electorate: The Political Work of Mod
Conclusion: After the Love-In -- The Lingering Effects of Peak Nationalism


"In unpacking Trudeau the Elder’s rocket-fuelled rise to power in the sixties, Paul Litt provides a fascinating and essential account of the politician as signifier: of a nation, of an era, of dreams, hopes, and fears. Trudeaumania is as much about who we were as who he was: a nation sorely in need of a symbol."
-- Geoff Pevere, co-author of Mondo Canuck: A Canadian Pop Culture Odyssey, and author of Donald Shebib's Goin' Down the Road and Gods of the Hammer: The Teenage Head Story

"This book is a fascinating study of image and popularity in the age of mass media. Though much has already been written about Pierre Trudeau, Litt gives us a new perspective on the way in which the age, the man, and an enthralled media combined to propel Trudeau to be prime minister of Canada."
-- Doug Owram, author of Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation

"A variety of memoirs, biographies, and histories have dealt with the life and times of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau but none have captured the excitement and drama of 'Trudeaumania' as well as this book does. Paul Litt artfully combines thorough research with a penetrating media analysis to create the most definitive account of that extraordinary phenomenon of Trudeaumania ever published."
-- Paul Rutherford, author of When Television Was Young: Primetime Canada, 1952-1967

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

History > Canada
Canadian Studies
Communications Studies
Media Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Trudeaumania from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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