The Canadian Fuhrer
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The Canadian Fuhrer

The Life of Adrien Arcand

By Jean-Francois Nadeau

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The Canadian Fuhrer is the story the emergence of prominent fascist leader Adrien Arcand and a dark chapter in Canada's past.

During the 1930s, when the misery of hunger, unemployment and the threat of war shadowed life for many, Canadians were drawn to a wide range of new political ideas. Communism, socialism, and the social credit movement all attracted supporters. Fascist ideas and Europe's fascist leaders also appealed to some. Even Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King reacted positively to Adolf Hitler when he first met him. Out of these circumstances emerged a Canadian fascist party led by a Montreal journalist, Adrien Arcand who became a significant part of the political scene through most of the 1930s.

Arcand adopted Nazi symbols and eagerly voiced anti-Semitic views. He organized large successful rallies of his right-wing supporters under the sign of the swastika and enjoyed the support of a substantial and committed group of Canadians. Once Canada declared war on Germany and Italy, however, Arcand was imprisoned for his political views. Yet after the war he resumed his activities as leader of the far-right National Unity Party, and forged ties to Quebec's provincial government of Maurice Duplessis during the 1950s and 1960s. Although Canadian historians have paid little attention to Arcand, he played an important role in the country's political life for many years.

This fascinating biography sheds light on a man and an era that have been hidden in the shadows for too long.

"In exploring the forgotten life of Adrien Arcand, Jean-Francois Nadeau has written the first real historical work on Canada's best-known fascist." Le Devoir



1 Momentum
2 The Goglus
3 Fire and Ashes
4 Fascist and Journalist
5 The Planes from Orbetello
6 The Blueshirts
7 A Friend Named Celine
8 Fascist Union
9 Petawawa
10 The Ogre of Lanoraie
11 Holocaust Denier



Winner - Richard-Arès Prize for the best book on an important public issue - 2010

"His book is both more and sometimes less than a biography: Arcand is the focus, but numerous other actors appear and additional nationalist groups are analyzed... It is not that Nadeau lacks a point of view: his dislike of the leading and supporting actors in his fascinating story is pronounced. But he is cool and detached and his research is thorough and critical. The translation is smooth and readable... Jean-François Nadeau's study of Adrien Arcand and his times is an engrossing read. A talented historian, Nadeau has put this despicable figure into a rich context of many marginal movements..."

- Ramsay Cook Literary Review of Canada

"Nadeau has penetrated into dark recesses of Quebec history, areas, which as he notes, have been largely ignored."

- Bryan Demchinsky roverarts.com/2011/11/achtung-baby

"Jean-François Nadeau gives a highly readable portrait of a malevolent and shadowy figure, while also providing a well-informed outline of the right-wing Catholic movements that once flourished in Quebec...The breadth of Nadeau's research is impressive...This book is of great worth to professional historians, but it will also appeal to a broad readership."

- Jean Coleno Montreal Review of Books

"...a very thorough, authoritative biography with a title that not only projects a strong, powerful image, but conveys the author's willingness to call a spade a spade.
As a former academic historian, Nadeau brings an impressive array of insight and talent to the task of unravelling the life of Canada's best know fascist leader...It will quickly be recognized as the standard work on a sordid aspect of Quebec's 20th-century history."

- Paul W. Bennett Chronicle Herald

"Nadeaus writing is thorough, and the story he tells is chilling... one is reminded of the fragility of our multicultural society"

- Mark Reid Canada's History

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Publication Details:

Binding: Hardback, 360 pages
Publication Date: 30th September 2011
ISBN: 9781552779040
Format: 9in x 6in

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 1st December 2011
ISBN: 9781552779057
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  BIO008000, BIO010000, HIS006020, HIS027100, POL042030
Imprint: Lorimer


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