Jean ChrÃ©tien's critics have said he was a man with no vision and a short attention span – a small-town hick who stumbled his way to become Canada's 20th prime minister. Whatever credit the ChrÃ©tien government deserved was often given to Paul Martin, the heir apparent who was touted to be the brains behind the operation.But while Chretien was the subject of ridicule, he was quietly giving his competitors – both inside and outside of the Liberal party – a master class in politics, leadership and nation-building. His decisions, which often ran counter to elite opinion, fundamentally reshaped and strengthened Canada as it entered the 21st century. ChrÃ©tien restored sanity to government finances, kept Canada out of the Iraq war, turned a brain drain into a brain gain, and established clarity over national unity. Relying on new evidence, detailed analysis and exclusive interviews with former cabinet ministers, provincial premiers, political staff, strategists, and high-ranking bureaucrats – many of them speaking publicly for the first time – bestselling author and historian Bob Plamondon tells the surprising inside story of the Chretien years, including: what Chretien would have done if the 1995 referendum had ended in a vote for separation; why Paul Martin secretly threatened to resign in 1995, seven years before he actually quit; who tried to convince Chretien to join the Iraq war and why he could not be intimidated into joining the US-led coalition; why a lifelong Liberal was the most conservative prime minister in Canadian history; the shocking details of the Chretien-Martin feud and the only time an elected Canadian prime minister has been overthrownUntil now, the story of Chretien's time as prime minister has been largely misunderstood. Plamondon sets the record straight and provides compelling lessons about political leadership and problem-solving from a critical chapter in Canadian history.