Tiffany's Reviews > Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1968-2000

Just Watch Me by John English
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's review
Jun 25, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: history, 2010, biographies, great-can-lit, nostalgia
Recommended for: Political junkies

I was born just after Trudeau finished his fourth and final term, so it was interesting to find out what I missed. I come from a family who adore Trudeau, which I suspect is largely based on his fight for bilingualism in Canada (my family is French-Canadian from Ontario). More interesting was it to find out why Albertans dislike Trudeau so much, as I discovered while living in Edmonton for several years. The polarization fascinated me after years of hearing about what a great man he was.

Just Watch Me presents Trudeau in a balanced light, I think. English doesn't shy away from discussing Trudeau's many failures, out of which, funnily enough, some of his greatest successes emerged. I don't yet know enough about politics to fully be able to critique English's assessment of Trudeau's reign, nor do I read enough political biographies to gauge whether or not the book lacked focus. It did seem heavy-handed at times, like English had way too much information and wanted to cram it all in, but who am I to say that some of the content didn't belong? I don't think I'm in a position to do so.

While this book was a bit of a slog at times, I do feel like I have emerged from the reading with a much better understanding of Trudeau and the politics of the time. At the very least, it must have been refreshing to have a prime minister who cared so much about the people of Canada, and who didn't back down and compromise what he believed in. This book made me wish I had been around for that, as I don't think a comparable prime minister has been in power during my lifetime.
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Reading Progress

June 25, 2009 – Shelved
June 26, 2009 – Shelved as: history
January 10, 2010 – Shelved as: 2010
February 6, 2010 – Started Reading
February 6, 2010 – Shelved as: biographies
February 8, 2010 –
page 33
5.17% "A heavy, heavy read. Going to chip away at it slowly."
February 8, 2010 –
page 98
15.36% "Exciting political times in Canada. Wonder what that must have been like."
February 9, 2010 –
page 148
23.2% "Learning a lot about one of my fave PMs, the author seems to be presenting him in a balanced light. A little dry, though."
February 11, 2010 –
page 210
February 11, 2010 –
page 274
42.95% "Interesting to witness the evolution of Pierre Trudeau's political beliefs. The author lacks a little focus, though."
February 12, 2010 –
page 274
February 17, 2010 –
page 340
53.29% "So long. So dense."
February 22, 2010 –
page 509
February 23, 2010 –
page 577
February 23, 2010 – Shelved as: great-can-lit
February 23, 2010 – Shelved as: nostalgia
February 23, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Deodand (new)

Deodand We are missing a big personality in Canadian politics since he left, that's for sure.

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