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Political Science History & Theory

The Good Fight

Marcel Cadieux and Canadian Diplomacy

by (author) Brendan Kelly

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2019
History & Theory, Canadian, Political
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price

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The distinguished career of Marcel Cadieux makes him arguably the most important francophone diplomat and civil servant in Canadian history. Cadieux’s decision to join the Department of External Affairs in 1941 was unconventional for a French Canadian of the time, yet public service became his vocation. Against the backdrop of rising Quebec separatism and the Cold War, he headed the department from 1964 to 1970 and served as Canada’s first francophone ambassador to the United States from 1970 to 1975. Cadieux’s profound belief in the dignity of service speaks eloquently to readers today, when professionalism and expertise are often undervalued.

About the author


  • Winner, J.W. Dafoe Book Prize, J.W. Dafoe Foundation

Contributor Notes

Brendan Kelly is a junior fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History and teaches in Trinity College’s International Relations program at the University of Toronto. He is also the book review editor of International Journal. His publications cover such topics as Canada’s treaties with Indigenous peoples, Canada during the Second World War, and Canadian international history.

Editorial Reviews

"This is an excellent biography of one of Canada’s most important diplomats and civil servants during a pivotal period in Canada’s international affairs."

Canadian Foreign Policy Journal

"[An] absorbing political biography."



Literary Review of Canada

"Une excellente biographie consacrée à un haut fonctionnaire francophone d’une grande valeur, d’une grande intégrité professionnelle, et dont la contribution fût marquante au service du Canada et qui, à certains égards, demeure toujours d’actualité."



Forum: Bulletin of Canadian Foreign Service

Kelly’s formidable biography – superbly researched, judiciously argued, and well written – is a guarantee that Cadieux will no longer be forgotten.

British Journal of Canadian Studies

This excellent biography should be required reading for foreign policy practitioners and academics alike. Kelly has deeply mined his primary sources in both official languages and has offered up a narrative that convincingly challenges some existing precepts of this period in Canadian diplomatic history. He offers us a convincing portrait of one of the greats in Canadian public service. In his Marcel Cadieux we see a selfless diplomat of firm and fearless skill, as well as a Canadian and Quebecois patriot deeply devoted to national unity. Through Brendan Kelly’s rendering, we also see Cadieux as the epitome of the human, networked, and connected diplomat.

International Journal

"[B]y centering the French-Canadian perspective and focusing on the figure of Marcel Cadieux, The Good Fight enriches our understanding of Canadian international history in the mid-twentieth century."

American Review of Canadian Studies