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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Good Fight

Marcel Cadieux and Canadian Diplomacy

The distinguished career of Marcel Cadieux makes him arguably the most important francophone diplomat and civil servant in Canadian history. Cadieux’s decision to join the Department of External Affairs in 1941 was unconventional for a French Canadian of the time, yet public service became his vocation. Against the backdrop of rising Quebec separatism and the Cold War, he headed the department from 1964 to 1970 and served as Canada’s first francophone ambassador to the United States from 1970 to 1975. Cadieux’s profound belief in the dignity of service speaks eloquently to readers today, when professionalism and expertise are often undervalued.

Table of Contents


1 The Birth of a French Canadian Nationalist, 1915–41

2 Premières Armes: Ottawa, London, Brussels, 1941–47

3 The Making of a Diplomat and Cold Warrior, 1947–55

4 A Versatile Diplomat, 1955–63

5 Departmental Tensions: Cadieux, Paul Martin Sr., and Canadian Foreign Policy, 1963–68

6 A Lonely Fight: Countering France and the Establishment of Quebec’s “International Personality,” 1963–67

7 The National Unity Crisis: Resisting Quebec and France at Home and in la Francophonie, 1967–70

8 The Politician and the Civil Servant: Pierre Trudeau, Cadieux, and the DEA, 1968–70

9 Ambassadorial Woes: Washington, 1970–75

10 Final Assignments, 1975–81


Notes; Bibliography; Index

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