The West Beyond the West
A History of British ColumbiaBook - 1991
British Columbia is regularly described in superlatives both positive and negative - most spectacular scenery, strangest politics, greatest environmental sensitivity, richest Aboriginal cultures, most aggressive resource exploitation, closest ties to Asia. Jean Barman's The West beyond the West presents the history of the province in all its diversity and apparent contradictions. This critically acclaimed work is the premiere book on British Columbian history, with a narrative beginning at the point of contact between Native peoples and Europeans and continuing into the twenty-first century.
Barman tells the story by focusing not only on the history made by leaders in government but also on the roles of women, immigrants, and Aboriginal peoples in the development of the province. She incorporates new perspectives and expands discussions on important topics such as the province's relationship to Canada as a nation, its involvement in the two world wars, the perspectives of non-mainstream British Columbians, and its participation in recreation and sports including Olympics.
First published in 1991 and revised in 1996, this third edition of The West beyond the West has been supplemented by statistical tables incorporating the 2001 census, two more extensive illustration sections portraying British Columbia's history in images, and other new material bringing the book up to date. Barman's deft scholarship is readily apparent and the book demands to be on the shelf of anyone with an interest in British Columbian or Canadian history.
Barman begins her history with a description of native societies in the 18th century, and the changes effected by the arrival of Europeans. Subsequent chapters discuss the fur trade, the gold rush, English colonization, the Canadian confederation, and the trans-Canada railroad. Throughout, she focuses less on history made by the leaders in government and business and more on the ways in which ordinary people influenced the province. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.