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2019 March Loan Stars Top Picks

To Be Equals in Our Own Country
Women and the Vote in Quebec
By (author): Denyse Baillargeon Translated by: Käthe Roth
9780774838481 Hardcover, Dust jacket English General Trade HISTORY / Women Quebec Mar 15, 2019
$27.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.9 in | 340 gr 232 pages 12 b&w photos, 7 illustrations UBC Press
“When the history of suffrage is written, the role played by our politicians will cut a sad figure beside that of the women they insulted.” Speaking in 1935, feminist Idola Saint-Jean captured the bitter nature of Quebec women’s prolonged fight for the right to vote. To Be Equals in Our Own Country is a passionate yet even-handed account of the road to suffrage in Quebec, examining women’s political participation since winning the vote in 1940 and comparing their struggle to movements in other countries. This astute exploration of enfranchisement rightly recognizes suffrage as a fundamental question of human rights.

Denyse Baillargeon is a professor of history at the Université de Montréal. She is the author of several historical studies in French, translated as A Brief History of Women in Quebec (2014), Canadian Historical Association Clio-Québec prize winner Babies for the Nation: The Medicalization of Motherhood in Quebec, 1910–1970 (2009), and Making Do: Women, Family and Home in Montreal during the Great Depression (1999). Käthe Roth has been a literary translator, working mainly in historical non-fiction, for more than twenty-five years.

  • Did you know? Quebec was the last province in Canada to give women the vote: Henri Bourassa warned that it would turn women into “veritable women-men.”
  • This is the first book to present a comprehensive view of women’s political participation, and struggle, in Quebec.
  • Will be published simultaneously in French by Remue-ménage.
  • Includes text boxes with interesting information and profiles of the suffragists: “In 1970, nine months before Thèrese Casgrain turned seventy-five, the mandatory age of retirement for senators, she was appointed to the Senate by Pierre Elliot-Trudeau’s Liberal government. To a journalist who challenged her capacity to do much in such a short time, she is said to have replied, ‘Young man, you’d be surprised what a woman can do in nine months!’”

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Denyse Baillargeon invites us to do far more than rediscover the triumphant campaigns for women’s right to vote in Quebec: she offers readers a nuanced understanding of what drove many to fight for this right, and others to resist it. Just when you think you know it all, you find out there’s more to learn! - Josée Boileau, author, journalist, and political commentator

An original and comprehensive history of women’s diverse struggles leading up to and following the fight for suffrage in Quebec told with skill and clarity. - Bettina Bradbury, author of Wife to Widow: Lives, Laws, and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Montreal

Baillargeon’s brilliant synthesis of the suffrage movement in Quebec is an essential introduction to one of the most influential social movements in Canadian history.

- Dominique Clément, author of Equality Deferred: Sex Discrimination and British Columbia’s Human Rights State, 1953–84

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