The West Beyond the West: A History of British Columbia
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.
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Jean Barman, Professor Emeritus, has published more than twenty books, including the winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Award, Stanley Park’s Secret (Harbour Publishing, 2005). Her lifelong pursuit to enrich the history of BC has earned her such honours as a Governor General’s Award, a George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, a Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing and a position as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She lives in Vancouver, BC.
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