PIERRE VALLIERES: The Revolutionary Process in Quebec by Nicholas Regush

PIERRE VALLIERES: The Revolutionary Process in Quebec

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Vallieres, who described his youth in the Quebec slums in White Niggers of America (1971), became the leading spokesman for the terrorist Front de Liberation du Quebec during the period of its activity in the late '60's. Jailed 30 months for the death of a woman who opened an FLQ bomb, he faced a second trial for the murder of Canadian Labour Minister Pierre Laporte. Vallieres' lawyer was convinced of easy acquittal, but Vallieres chose to flee, and four months later in December 1971 issued a dramatic denunciation of the FLQ and joined the reformist Parti Quebecois. He surfaced, charges were dropped and he got a government job with the Manpower Ministry; Vallieres' former FLQ associates not indelicately call him a sellout. Regush's attempt to reveal his motives is inadequate: the book does not analyze Vallieres' proclamation itself, and Regush interviews him without probing. Regush reprints some FLQ statements of the unhinged ""wouldn't-you-like-to-see-a-busload-of-Protestants-burn"" variety, gives Vallieres' literary-political resume, adds a few dribs about Quebec history, and includes the Economic Manifesto of the Parti Quebecois, a quirky hybrid of nostrums culled from the Townsend Plan and Social Credit Party of the '30's, appropriately coated with Quebec nationalism. This provides fragmentary pieces of the political puzzle, but fails to explain why the former terrorist joined the enemy.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1973
Publisher: Dial