Much of Canada’s modern identity emerged from the innovative social policies and ambitious foreign policy of Louis St-Laurent’s Liberal government. His extraordinarily creative administration made decisions that still resonate today: on health care, pensions, and housing; on infrastructure and intergovernmental issues; and, further afield, in developing Canada’s global middle-power role in global affairs and resolving the Suez Crisis. Yet St-Laurent remains an enigmatic figure. The Unexpected Louis St-Laurent fills a great void in Canadian political history, bringing together well-established and new scholars to investigate the far-reaching influence of a politician whose astute policies and bold resolve moved Canada into the modern era.
Patrice Dutil is a professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, Toronto. He is the author of many books, including Prime Ministerial Power in Canada: Its Origins under Macdonald, Laurier, and Borden; Embattled Nation: Canada’s Wartime Election of 1917 (with David MacKenzie); and Canada, 1911: The Decisive Election That Shaped the Country (also with MacKenzie). He has also edited several collections, including Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies (with Roger Hall). He was the founding editor of the Literary Review of Canada (1991–96) and the president of the Champlain Society (2010–17).