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Forging the Prairie West

Another volume in the Illustrated History of Canada series relates the eventful, occasionally violent history of the three "prairie" provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta). Covering exploration as well as economic, political, and social history, it presents a detailed account of the region's importance in Canadian history.

For many people, the word "prairie" calls to mind a vista of golden grain; yet the "Prairie provinces" span a vast region of physical environments, from the grasslands to the poplar bluffs of the "park belt", from the Canadian Shield to the Rocky Mountains. Their human geography is equally diverse. In fact, like any politically defined region, the Prairie West is much more the product of human activity and imagination than of physical geography.
Forging the Prairie West

In Forging the Prairie West, John Thompson traces the histories of the people who, over the past four centuries, have transformed the Prairies into a "Region of the Mind". Integral to the narrative are 166 paintings, drawings, period maps, and photographs. While some of these images are so familiar that they have become virtually iconic, a third of them have never been published before, and all are interpreted here is revealing and original ways. Including up-to-date references to the secondary historical literature, Forging the Prairie West will serve equally well as a text for college or university students and as an interpretive introduction to Prairie history for general readers.

  1. Imag[in]ing a Region
  2. "Ever...useless to cultivate man"
  3. Culture in Contact, 1670 to 1821
  4. Fur Trade to Settlement, 1821-70
  5. Making the Prairie West Canadian, 1870-1900
  6. The Twentieth Century Belongs to the Canadian West, 1901-21
  7. Harsh Realities of Region, 1921-39
  8. Prairie Canada Recast, 1940-70
  9. The Prairie West and the Nation, 1971-94
Written by John Herd Thompson. Published by Oxford University Press, 1998.

Other titles in the Illustrated History of Canada series:
British Columbia: Land of Promises
Ontario: Image, Identity, and Power
True North: The Yukon and Northwest Territories
Catalogue No. 0-19-541049-1
Price $26.95
Format Softcover
Pages 212
Language English only
Price and availability subject to change. Shipping and applicable taxes extra.
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This page last modified: December 22, 2005

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