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Beaverbrook

Goose Lane Editions


Winner, Atlantic Independent Booksellers Choice Award and Best Atlantic Published Book Award

Shortlisted, British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and National Business Book Award

Were the Gallery's treasures gifts or loans? Was Lord Beaverbrook careless or devious? Jacques Poitras sifts through the personal correspondence, takes stock of the witnesses and testimony at the 2006 arbitration hearings, and interviews the combatants of a bitter legal battle that rocked the art world on both sides of the Atlantic. Deftly connecting the pieces of this historic jigsaw puzzle, he tells a fascinating tale peopled with an arresting cast of characters — from the self-proclaimed "master propagandist" to the present-day heirs of the Beaverbrook legacy.

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"Take a cantankerous patriarch, throw in some very famous paintings and a family at war — and you have the ingredients of a gripping thriller. In Jacques Poitras's skillful hands they become something more: a wise meditation on a friendship that went very wrong."

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"Take a cantankerous patriarch, throw in some very famous paintings and a family at war — and you have the ingredients of a gripping thriller. In Jacques Poitras's skillful hands they become something more: a wise meditation on a friendship that went very wrong."

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"Riveting."

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"A journalistic tour-de-force."

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"Jacques Poitras has written a delicious story about the battle for Lord Beaverbrook's paintings. He has used a brilliant cast of characters — a mix of canny homegrown New Brunswickers and powerful British aristocrats — to pull together an important work of social and political history. Yes, this is a big, important book, but it's also a helluva lot of fun to read."

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Jacques Poitras has been CBC Radio's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He has written numerous award-winning feature documentaries and has appeared on Radio-Canada, National Public Radio, and the BBC. His first book was the critically acclaimed The Right Fight: Bernard Lord and the Conservative Dilemma. He lives near Fredericton.

 
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Imaginary Line

Goose Lane Editions


Shortlisted, Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing

Once, a single francophone settlement shared both sides of the Saint John River, until a political trade-off between countries split it down the middle. From that inauspicious start, the Maine-New Brunswick border, the first boundary to be drawn between the two nations, has served as a microcosm for Canada-U.S. relations. For centuries, friends, lovers, schemers and smugglers have reached across the line. Now, post-9/11, mounting political paranoia has led to a sharp divide, disrupting the lives and welfare of nearby residents. An elderly Canadian couple's driveway touches the border, leading to a Kafkaesque overreaction by Homeland Security. The Tea Party political movement advocates complete border shutdown. Once friendly neighbors have become increasingly isolated from each other. In this timely exploration, Jacques Poitras travels the length of the border, from Madawaska and Aroostook counties through Passamaquoddy Bay to a tiny island still in dispute to uncover the arbitrarily drawn line that shouldn't be there, almost wasn't there, and can be difficult to find even when it is there. The stakes are high as New Brunswick and Maine re-imagine their relationship for the 21st century and communities strive to stay together despite the best efforts of parochial politicians, protectionists, and overzealous border officials.

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"By highlighting what makes this part of the world unique, Poitras brings alive the quirks of communities whose cross-border heritage defies narratives of identity in both Canada and the United States."

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"If you like to explore the nooks and crannies of the Canada-US border, if you know the idiosyncrasies of more than four border crossings (the Ambassador Bridge and the Peace Bridge don't count), and if you think that the National Film Board's Between Friends/Entre Amis (1976) is one of the great coffee-table books (and cultural statements) of all time, then Imaginary Line: Life on an Unfinished Border deserves a place on your nightstand."

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"A very impressive volume. Not an easy subject to tackle but wonderfully researched and so very revealing. Canada-U.S. relations at the regional level have rarely been so expertly explored."

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Jacques Poitras has been CBC Radio's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He has written numerous award-winning feature documentaries and has appeared on Radio-Canada, National Public Radio, and the BBC. His first book was the critically acclaimed The Right Fight: Bernard Lord and the Conservative Dilemma. He lives near Fredericton.

 
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The Right Fight

Goose Lane Editions


In The Right Fight: Bernard Lord and the Conservative Dilemma, CBC reporter Jacques Poitras provides a journalist's account of how Bernard Lord rose to the top in provincial politics and why his path could lead to Ottawa. The clean sweep of Frank McKenna's Liberals in 1987 shook the foundations of the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party, but election night 1991 utterly shattered the Tory dream. As expected, the Liberals won a second majority, but the fervently anti-bilingualism Confederation of Regions (COR) Party formed the official Opposition. For the first time in a hundred years, the Conservatives were out in the cold, victims of vote-splitting on the right. In The Right Fight, Jacques Poitras reveals that, although drug and other scandals plagued Richard Hatfield's final years as premier, equally fatal was Hatfield's insistence on English-French equality within his party. It ruptured the already uneasy coalition he'd built and sent old-style Tories flocking into COR's arms. It took the unexpected arrival of Bernard Lord, young and untried, to lead a dramatic reversal in the party's fortunes. Luring COR members back into the Conservative fold while maintaining the Red Tory base so carefully cultivated by Hatfield, Lord reunited the party and won back-to-back majority governments. Because of his success, Bernard Lord was vigorously and publicly courted as a potential leader of the new federal Conservative Party by backroom movers and shakers. In this revealing look at the 25-year struggle over language in New Brunswick, Jacques Poitras shows where Bernard Lord comes from and what challenges remain before him.

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"The Tory Hamlet ... Poitras is a solid journalist who gives everyone a say ... a clear-minded and coherent portrait ... a reporter's book, concentrating on the nitty-gritty of political warfare ... The portrait of Lord is a good one ... Poitras is effective in capturing the essence of his consensus-building style and cautious nature."

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Jacques Poitras works as a provincial affairs reporter for CBC Radio. His journalism has been recognized by the National Newspaper Awards and the Radio and Television News Directors Association. His book Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy, shortlisted for the BC Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the National Business Book Award, won the 2008 Best Atlantic Published Book Award.

 
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