Book cover image for: One West, Two Myths: A Comparative Reader

One West, Two Myths: A Comparative Reader

Edited by Carol Higham and Robert Thacker

$44.95 CAD / $44.95 USD

204 pages

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-135-9 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-424-4 (Institutional PDF)

June 2004

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About the Book

An introduction to the comparative approach to historical study, this reader explores the importance, problems, and results of comparing the Canadian and American Wests.

What comes to mind when we think of the Old West? Often, our conceptions are accompanied by as much mythology and mystique as fact or truth. What are the differences in how the Canadian and American Wests are perceived? Did they develop differently or are they just perceived differently? How do our conceptions influence our perceptions?

This reader explores the problems, importance, and results of comparing the Canadian and American Wests, critically examining how we conceptualize the history and development of the West and how that influences our perceptions. This volume provides an excellent introduction to this burgeoning area of study as it endeavours to engage the imaginations of those who are new to the subject.

About the Editors

Carol L. Higham is a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Robert Thacker is professor of Canadian Studies at St. Lawrence University and the former editor of the American Review of Canadian Studies.

With Contributions By:  C.L. Higham, Elliott West, Donald Worster, Gerald Friesen, Beth LaDow, Michel Hogue, Sheila McManus, Molly P. Rozum, and Peter S. Morris

Praise for One West, Two Myths

A solid introduction to the comparative approach to historical study.

—Keith Thor Carlson, Great Plains Quaterly

A welcome addition to the literature.

—Andy Den Otter, The Canadian Historical Review

The strong continuity and the individual quality of the essays means that this volume adds meaningfully to our understanding of this important period in history. 

—Doug Owram, The American Historical Review 

Table of Contents


An Introduction to Comparing the Two Wests
C.L. Higham

Against the Grain: State-Making, Cultures, and Geography in the American West
Elliott West

Two Faces West; The Development Myth in Canada and the United States
Donald Worster

From 54º40’ to Free Trade: Relations Between the American Northwest and Western Canada
Gerald Friesen

Sanctuary: Native Border Crossings and the North American West
Beth LaDow

Disputing the Medicine Line: The Plains Cree and the Canadian-American Border, 1876-85
Michel Hogue

Making the Forty-Ninth Parallel: How Canada and the United States Used Space, Race, and Gender to Turn Blackfoot Country in the Alberta-Montana Borderlands
Sheila McManus

"The Spark that Jumped the Gap": North America’s Northern Plains and the Experience of Place
Molly P. Rozum

Fort Macleod of the Borderlands: Using the Forty-Ninth Parallel on Southern Alberta’s Ranching Frontier
Peter S. Morris