With a political career spanning nearly half a century, Télesphore-Damien Bouchard was an advocate for progress in Quebec's history. He began his rise to the top in 1912 when he was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for the city of Saint-Hyacinthe. He went on to become mayor of Saint-Hyacinthe for twenty-five years, Speaker of the House, Acting House Leader of the Liberal Party from 1936 to 1939 and finally, the most influential cabinet minister from 1939 to 1944.
Bouchard emerged as one of the most powerful leaders of the Liberal Party. A leading anti-clerical who thought that the Catholic Church had no business in politics, the social sphere or public education, Bouchard became a beacon of light in the struggle for education reform, women's suffrage and workers' legislation. During the Depression, he introduced measures that relieved the misery of the poor and destitute, making Saint-Hyacinthe renowned for its management of the crisis.
In this first-ever biography of Bouchard, author Frank Guttman touches on the politician's early life and explores how Bouchard's political attitudes developed. Tracing Bouchard's career from his beginnings as an alderman in 1905 to his final post as cabinet minister in 1944, Guttman pens a compelling portrait of a man well ahead of his generation.