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My Years as Prime Minister by Jean Chrétien

My Years as Prime Minister (2007)

by Jean Chrétien

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Written with simplicity and humorous tone, My Years As Prime Minister summarizes Jean Chrétien's and the Liberal Party's accomplishments during his year in power. This book is also a good backgrounder on Canadian and World politics during the 1990s and early 2000s, providing an insider's perspective on the events that marked the last decade.

Having taken a Canadian Politics course last winter, I found this book to be a great summary/practical example of the various facets of our parliamentary system. ( )
  op_rocky | Dec 18, 2007 |
Having written another book on his early life, and life as a Cabinet Minister, Jean Chretien has confined this book to his years as Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Chretien portrayed himself, and was widely perceived, as the "litte guy from Shawinigan" and his book is written very much in that style -- folksy -- like he was telling you stories around the kitchen table. He admits that he never kept a journal or copies of correspondence, and is writing from memory. He admits that, human nature being what it is, he is more likely to remember moments when he shone than moments when he was less than brilliant.

His admissions aside, it was still a bit of a disappointment to read what amounted to a collection of anecdotes with little analysis. What background information there was seemed pitched at a high school level -- not at public policy "junkies" like me! Guess I'll have to wait for a biography. ( )
1 vote LynnB | Oct 31, 2007 |
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À France et André, Hubert et Michel, Olivier, Maximilien, Philippe et Jacqueline, et surtout, à Aline.
Sans vous, rien.
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Avril 2007. Moscou. J'assiste au obsèques de Boris Eltsine, l'ancien président russe, un grand ami.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0676979009, Hardcover)

My Years as Prime Minister is Jean Chrétien’s own story, told with insight and humour, of his ten years at 24 Sussex Drive as Canada’s twentieth prime minister.

By the time he left office, Jean Chrétien had been in politics for forty years – and his experience is evident on every page of his important, engaging memoir. Chrétien loves to tell a good tale – and he does so here in the same honest, plain-spoken style of Straight from the Heart, his earlier bestselling account of his years as a Cabinet minister. He gives us a self-portrait of a working prime minister – the passionate Canadian renowned for finishing every speech with Vive le Canada!

Chrétien knows how government works, and his political instincts are sharp. Through the decade 1993 to 2003 we watch as he wins three majority elections as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Finding the country in a dreadful state, dangerously in debt and bitterly divided, he describes how his government wiped out the deficit in just four years, helped to defeat the separatists in the cliffhanger Quebec referendum, passed the Clarity Act, and set out to fulfill the economic and social promises his party made in its famous Red Books. He reveals how and why he kept the country out of the war in Iraq – a defining moment for many Canadians; led Team Canada on whirlwind trade missions around the world; and participated in a host of major international summits.

Along with his astute comments on politics and government, he gives candid portraits of a broad cast of characters. Over a beer, Tony Blair confides his hesitation about taking Britain into the Iraq War; in the corridors of the United Nations, Bill Clinton offers to speak to Quebecers on behalf of Canadian unity; while at home, Chrétien reveals the events leading up to the departure of his finance minister, Paul Martin. He recounts the dramatic night in which his quick-thinking wife, Aline, saved him from an assassination attempt at 24 Sussex Drive; and, with lively humour, he describes how he and Clinton successfully escaped from their own bodyguards – to the consternation of all.

Even in the highest office in the land, Jean Chrétien never lost his connection with ordinary Canadians. He is as warm and funny in his recollections as in person, at once combative and cool-headed, a man full of vitality and charm. Above all, from start to finish, his love for his country and his passion to keep it united run clear and deep.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:51 -0400)

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