Esther Delisle

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Esther Delisle Ph.D. (born 1954) is a French Canadian historian and author of historical works from Quebec.

Born and raised in Quebec City, she completed her BA and MA in political science at Université Laval in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, and taught political theory at a Quebec CEGEP and worked as a researcher for the CBC news show the fifth estate. She then studied for three years at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before returning to Laval to complete her doctorate, following which she did post-doctoral studies at the department of history at McGill University.

Her doctoral thesis, in which she adduced evidence of a history of anti-Semitism and support of fascism among Quebec nationalists of the 1930s, was controversial long before it was published. The book was strongly critical of the nationalist historian Lionel Groulx and the newspaper Le Devoir. The normal time for a thesis at Université Laval to be approved was three months; her committee delayed a decision for almost two years, until articles about the delay and the controversy surrounding her work had appeared in the French and English press.

In 1993, she published a book based on her doctoral political science thesis, short-titled The Traitor and the Jew. The book aroused considerable hostility; when she appeared at one Quebec bookstore, the manager of the shopping mall cut the electricity to the bookstore in order to interfere with her book signing. (Different versions of this incident appear in Sara Scott,...
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