The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum And The Day That Almost Was

The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum And The Day That Almost Was

Chantal Hebert and Jean LaPierre recount the 1995 Quebec Referendum and the night that nearly tore Canada apart  Through indepth research and comprehensive interviews with many of the prominent players involved, the co-authors present both the “yes” and the “no” vote equally, shining a light on the many events that soured the relationship between Quebecers and the rest of the country leading to a vote for sovereignty.

This is a tough one for me to review; I’m not exactly the most astute scholar of politics.  I was also eleven years old on October 30th, 1995, so you can imagine that this event, while covered widely, was the least of my worries.  After reading Bastards & Boneheads last year (a book detailing Canada’s great and not-so-great leaders), a small spark of interest had developed in me for Canadian political history.  However with The Morning After, it wasn’t so much the history of the event that drew me in, it was more so the theoretical fallout had the YES vote won – what would Canada look like?

Approaching a book of this nature was intimidating to say the least.  I feared that either it would be too dryly presented or that it would be written in such a manner that it would be difficult for me to follow.  Once I got the major players organized in my head alongside their political parties, the narrative flowed rather smoothly.  I did find that as I got closer to the end of the book, a lot of the information felt repetitive making the final fifty or so pages a bit of a slog to get through.  However, I think that had more to do with the fact that many of those interviewed expected a similar outcome had the YES vote won – further negotiations and no immediate secession by Quebec.

The Morning After is a deep dive into Canadian politics covering an event that threatened to change the face of Canada forever.  I came away from this book having learned what led to the referendum, the immediate fallout, and further understanding just exactly how this country politically operates –  what more could I have asked for? 

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