Canadian Studies Collection (Books)

The Last Best West

Yossi Katz and John C. Lehr, The Last Best West, Essays on the Historical Geography of the Canadian Prairies, 1999
The Last Best WestBased on revised articles first published in a variety of prestigious academic journals, this book analyzes the pattern and process of ethnic group settlement in western Canada from 1874 until the 1920s from the perspective of historical geography and in the context of time, space, and society. Through consideration of six major ethnic groups, the Mennonites, Jews, Mormons, Ukrainians, Doukhobors and Hutterites, the book describes how and why these groups created a series of distinctive cultural landscapes across the prairies.
At the center of this explanation is an appreciation of the roles played by the immigrants, their societies, cultures, and institutions. The ways in which these interacted with the institutions of the host society and with the politics of the Canadian government determined many settlement outcomes. It was this interaction that created the complex cultural mosaic of the contemporary prairie landscape in Canada.