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Nearly twenty years after his death and more than thirty since his retirement from active politics, Pierre Elliott Trudeau is at long last receding from the lived memory of Canadians. But despite the distance of time, he still holds court in the minds of many, and today his son Justin now lives at 24 Sussex Drive, his own man, though still a Trudeau holding Canada’s highest office. Trudeaumania is about Pierre Trudeau’s rise to power in 1968. This is a story we thought we knew—the epic saga of the hipster Montrealer who drove up to Ottawa in his Mercedes in 1965, wowed the country with his dictum that “the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation,” rocked the new medium of television like no one since JFK, and in scant months rode the crest of Canadians’ Centennial-era euphoria into power. This is Canada’s own Camelot myth. It embodies the quirkiness, the passion and the youthful exuberance we ascribe to the 1960s even now. Many of us cherish it. Unfortunately, it is almost entirely wrong. In 1968 Trudeau put forward his vision for Canada’s second century, without guile, without dissembling and without a hard sell. Take it or leave it, he told Canadians. If you do not like my ideas, vote for someone else. We took it. By bestselling and award-winning author Robert Wright, Trudeaumania sets the record straight even as it illuminates this important part of our history and shines a light on our future.
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