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My Life at the Bar and Beyond by Alex K. Paterson


Alex Paterson grew up in Montreal during the Duplessis era and watched the Quiet Revolution transform Quebec from a deeply religious and almost agrarian society into a modern and secular state. From the 1980 referendum to the Oka crisis, he played a critical role in the defining events of Quebec’s recent history. My Life at the Bar and Beyond offers a candid look at his remarkable life and career.

A litigation lawyer for fifty years, Paterson describes some of his earlier cases, including those involving alleged brainwashing experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute funded by the CIA. He offers behind-the-scenes views of the fight against Bill 101, campaigning for the No Committee in the 1980 Quebec referendum, and the stand-off at Oka between Mohawks and the provincial police. Paterson also charts his involvement in establishing the McGill University Health Centre and the plans for a new major teaching hospital as well as directing the development and expansion of Bishop’s University during his time as president and chancellor.

Paterson is a polished raconteur and his revealing memoir includes tantalizing anecdotes.

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McGill-Queen's University Press

Montreal & Kingston