This book is the first comprehensive examination of the way French-speaking Quebecers have written about their past in the twentieth century. Rudin begins his study with Lionel Groulx, a professional historian who dominated the field for the first half of the century, and concludes with figures such as Paul-AndrT Linteau who occupy an important place in the discipline today.
Since historical writing reflects the society in which it was produced, Rudin's analysis offers new ways of thinking about Quebec society over the course of this century. He questions past interpretations of the careers of certain historians, dismissed for having been insufficiently professional to warrant serious attention. The dismissal of such historians has facilitated the belief, common in the profession, that historical writing in and about Quebec has constantly improved. Rudin challenges this received notion of continual progress by examining a group of historians who were remarkably similar, throughout the period, in their desire to abide by contemporary professional standards.
As a complementary volume to Carl Berger's The Writing of Canadian History, and as a new, critical reading of Quebec historiography, this book will stimulate considerable debate in the historical community.