The Blue Shirts

The Blue Shirts

Adrien Arcand and Fascist Anti-Semitism in Canada

By Hugues Théorêt

356 Pages · 9x6 · May 16 2017

Paper ISBN: 9780776624679

PDF ISBN: 9780776624686

ePub ISBN: 9780776624693

Availability: In stock

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39.95 $ CA
PDF eBook
29.99 $ CA
ePub eBook
29.99 $ CA


While Adolf Hitler was seizing power in Germany, Adrien Arcand was laying the foundations in Quebec for his Parti national social chrétien. The Blue Shirts, as its members were called, wore a military uniform and prominently displayed the swastika. Arcand saw Jewish conspiracy wherever he turned and his views resonated with his followers who, like him, sought a scapegoat for all the ills eroding society.

Even after his imprisonment during the Second World War, the fanatical Adrien Arcand continued his correspondence with those on the frontlines of anti-semitism. Until his death in 1967, he pursued his campaign of propaganda against communists and Jews.

Hugues Théorêt describes a dark period in Quebec’s ideological history using an objective approach and careful, rigorous research in this book, which won the 2015 Canada Prize (Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences).


Foreword Indies Book of the Year Awards in World History category, US, 2017


In his book Les chemises bleues, Hugues Théorêt [covers] a very serious subject: the life of Adrien Arcand, an intellectual and militant anti-Semite between 1930 and 1960 … , producing a patient, nuanced, humanist, and contextualized narrative. Without a trace of sterile polemic, overinterpretation or an overly personal position, this book is an invaluable resource for understanding, from a Quebecois and Canadian perspective, a phenomenon that recurs throughout human history and that is not confined to Europe: hate speech.

Canada Prize 2014 Jury

Not enough is known about anti-Semitism in Canada. It is still endured by many Jewish Canadians and this beautifully written book brings the subject into much needed sharp relief.

The 2018 Vine Awards Jury

Dans son livre Les chemises bleues, Hugues Théorêt se penche sur
un sujet grave – la trajectoire d'Adrien Arcand, un intellectuel et militant
antisémite des années 1930 à 1960 – [avec] une narration patiente, nuancée,
humaniste et contextualisée. Loin des polémiques stériles, de la
surinterprétation ou des positionnements trop personnels, cette étude s’avérera
indispensable à la compréhension, sous un angle québécois et canadien, d’un
phénomène récurrent dans l’histoire de l’humanité et non cantonné à l’Europe :
le discours haineux. 

Le Jury du Prix du Canada, 2014