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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Price: $17.95

Paperback 392 pp.
No illustrations, 6" x 9"



Publication date:
December 2009

Imprint: OUP Canada

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The Fraser


The late Bruce Hutchison
Introduction by Vaughn Palmer

Series : The Wynford Project

From one of Canada's greatest journalists comes the epic story of British Columbia's Fraser River. As the dust jacket for the originally edition-published half a century ago-declared:

"Shaped like a giant fishhook stuck into the Pacific Ocean, the mighty Fraser is one of the most important rivers of North America, politically, economically, and historically. Compelling the reader's interest with the power and vigour of his narrative, Bruce Hutchison explores the Fraser's romantic history as one of Canada's two main channels of civilization. The Fraser's story is that of British Columbia and its people, and Mr. Hutchison shows that it provides some of the richest yet least known chapters in Canadian history. These he unrolls in an unforgettable panorama, from the days of Spanish discovery to the story of the city of Vancouver, the river's most remarkable product. In its gold, its steamboating, its fur; as a fisherman's paradise, and as the largest untapped source of electrical power in North America-the story of the Fraser is one of colour and high drama. It is exciting reading."

The Wynford Edition includes a new introduction by Vaughn Palmer, one of Canada's foremost political journalists and a winner of the Bruce Hutchison Award. Palmer's introduction puts both the book and Hutchison's career in historical context for modern readers.

Readership : Readers interested in the history of British Columbia and of Canada in general.

Vaughn Palmer: Introduction to the Wynford Edition
Map of the Fraser Territory
1. The River
2. Discovery
3. To the Pacific by Canoe
4. Simon Fraser
5. Gold
6. The Cariboo Road
7. The Overlanders
8. Down the Thompson
9. Canada from Sea to Sea
10. The Hanging Judge
11. The River Pilots
12. On the Old Trail
13. The River's Mouth
14. The Fraser Valley
15. The Canyon
16. Carson's Kingdom
17. To the River's End
18. The Thompson
19. The First Inhabitants
20. For Anglers Only
21. The River's Railways
22. The Future of the River

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Bruce Hutchison (1901-1992) was one of Canada's foremost journalists. His career spanned most of the twentieth century and he was the recipient of many honours, including three Governor General's Awards for his works of non-fiction.

Born in Prescott, Ontario, he was taken to British Columbia as an infant and grew up in Victoria. He became a high-school journalist for the Victoria Times in 1918 and a political reporter in Ottawa in 1925; he returned to the Times, also reporting on the provincial legislature for the Vancouver Province. He was an editorial writer and columnist for the Vancouver Sun (1938), assistant editor on the Winnipeg Free Press (1944-50), and then returned to the Victoria Times, where he served as editor from 1950 to 1963, establishing his reputation as a leading political journalist and commentator. In 1963 he became editorial director of the Vancouver Sun and in 1979 editor emeritus; he wrote a weekly column for the Sun until his death. In addition to his newspaper work, Hutchison wrote dozens of pulp stories in the 1920s, a novel, and even a film script, "Park Avenue Logger," which was produced in Hollywood. By the end of his career he had won three National Newspaper Awards, three Governor General's Awards, the Royal Society of Arts Award for Journalism, and the Bowater Prize. He received the inaugural Royal Society of Arts Award for Distinguished Journalism in the Commonwealth (1961), was placed on the Maclean's Honour Roll (1989), and received the City of Victoria Prize (1990), and the Jack Webster Foundation First Lifetime Achievement Award (1991).

In nearly seventy-five years of political reporting, spanning the careers of ten prime ministers, Hutchison developed friendships with political personalities that ranged from Louis St Laurent and Lester Pearson to Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chrétien. His writings on Canada and its political figures were characterized by the confidential vignette, but he was criticized for partisan loyalty to the Liberal Party-a charge he always denied. His best-known book, The Unknown Country: Canada and Her People (1943)-which won a Governor General's Award and is still in print after several revised editions-is a delightful panorama of Canada, containing vivid descriptions of place and personality, with short lyrical vignettes between chapters. Hutchison also dealt successfully with the larger movements of politics and economics. His novel The Hollow Men (1944), the story of a newspaper correspondent disillusioned by world war, combines subtle political satire with sympathy for wilderness life.

Hutchison's other titles include The Fraser (1950) in the Rivers of America series; The Incredible Canadian: A Candid Portrait of Mackenzie King, His Works, His Times, and His Nation (1952; Govenor General's Award); Canada's Lonely Neighbour (1954); The Struggle for the Border (1955); Canada: Tomorrow's Giant (1957; Governor General's Award), and Mr. Prime Minister 1867-1964 (1964), which was condensed as Macdonald to Pearson: The Prime Ministers of Canada (1967). Hutchison also wrote Western Window (1967), a collection of essays, as well as the text for Canada: A Year of the Land (1967), a lavish picture book on Canada produced by the National Film Board. At the age of eighty Hutchison published Uncle Percy's Wonderful Town (1981), a dozen fictional and nostalgic accounts of life in Emerald Vale, BC, a town with the features of Merrit, Cranbrook, and Nelson in British Columbia. While short on emotional range, these stories-narrated by a fourteen-year-old boy-evoke a vanished time and place. A Life in the Country (1988) is both a memoir and a meditation on country life. Hutchison's autobiography, The Far Side of the Street (1976), expressed a highly personal view of the growth of his generation and reaffirmed his vision of a modern and responsible Canada.
-Geoff Hancock, The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature

Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, has written the Introduction to the Wynford Edition.

British Columbia - Patricia Roy and John Thompson
French Canada in Transition - Everett Hughes
Introduction by Lorne Tepperman and Foreword by Nathan Keyfitz
I Brought the Ages Home - Charles T. Currelly
Minetown, Milltown, Railtown - Rex Lucas and Lorne Tepperman
Canadian Short Stories - Edited by Robert Weaver
Preface by William Toye
Man's Emerging Mind - The late N. J. Berrill
No Passport - The late Eugene Cloutier
Translated by Joyce Marshall
Ethnicity and Human Rights in Canada - Evelyn Kallen
The Double Ghetto - Pat Armstrong and Hugh Armstrong
Corporate Power in a Globalizing World - William Carroll
Regions Apart - Edward Grabb and The late James Curtis
Wasting Away - Pat Armstrong and Hugh Armstrong
The Jews in Canada - Edited by Robert J. Brym, William Shaffir and Morton Weinfeld
The Unknown Country - The late Bruce Hutchison and Introduction by Vaughn Palmer
Approaches to Politics - The late Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Translated by The late Ivon Owen, Foreward and Introduction by Ramsay Cook and Preface by The late Jacques Hébert

Special Features

  • A vivid description of the history and development of the Fraser River
  • Written by one of Canada's foremost journalists and a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award
  • New introduction by leading journalist Vaughn Palmer puts both the book and Hutchison in historical context
  • A "must" for anyone interested in the history of British Columbia