Skip to main content
view shopping cart

Immigrants in the Far West

This item is only available through the the University of Utah Press secure online store. Please note, this online store is unrelated to the shopping cart on our site. If you wish to make a purchase from this store, items must be paid for separately and will ship separately from items in your shopping cart.

Continue Go Back

Add to Cart View cart

Copyright: 2015
Trim: 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Pages: 520 pp
Illustrations: 41 illustrations, 2 maps



Immigrants in the Far West

Historical Identities and Experiences

Edited by Jessie L. Embry and Brian Q. Cannon

Western History

This collection showcases the cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that a new generation of scholars is bringing to the study of immigration in the American West. Often overlooked in general studies of immigration, the western United States has been and remains an important destination. The unique combination of ethnicities and races in the West, combined with political and economic peculiarities, has given the region an immigration narrative that departs significantly from those of the East and Midwest. This volume explores facets of this narrative with case studies that reveal how immigration in the American West has influenced the region’s development culturally, economically, socially, and politically. Contributors illuminate factors that have galvanized immigration and the ways that agency, cultural resources, institutions, and societal attitudes have shaped immigrant experiences. The book’s interdisciplinary framework will make it of broad interest.

Jessie L. Embry is recently retired from her positions as associate research professor, associate director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, and director of the center’s oral history program. Most recently she edited the volume Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West.

Brian Q. Cannon is professor of history and director of the Charles Redd Center for Western History at Brigham Young University. He holds three editorial positions and is author of Reopening the Frontier: Homesteading in the Modern West and co-editor, with Jessie L. Embry, of Utah in the Twentieth Century.

Table of Contents:


Part 1: Who We Were and Who They Thought We Should Be
1. Immigrants and Colonists: Three Accounts of Mexican California
Brett Myhren
2. Hell and Heaven on Wheels: Mormons, Immigrants, and the (Re)construction of American Progress and Masculinity on the Transcontinental Railroad
Ryan Dearinger
3. Japanese Immigrants and the Dillingham Commission: Federal Immigration Policy and the American West
Katherine Benton-Cohen
4. The Specter of Nations: Immigration, Gothicism, and Transnational Mimicry in Two Post-Revolutionary Mexican-American Novels
D. Seth Horton
5. Converting the Civilizing Mission: American Catholics, Mexican Immigrants, and the Taming of the West in the Early Twentieth Century
Anne M. Martinez
6. “Something Fearful and Wonderful”: Immigrant Children, Americanization, and the Public Education in Los Angeles, 19001929
Eileen V. Wallis
7. Locally Made: Immigrant Whiteness in Montana’s Copper Communities
Matt Basso

Part 2: What We Came For and What We Made of It
8. Social Capital and Frontier Community Building: The Case of Immigrant Jews in Nineteenth-Century Los Angeles
Karen S. Wilson
9. Greening the Silver Saloon: Building Community in the Irish Mining West
Michelle A. Charest
10. Saints in the Pit’: Mormon Colliers in Britain and the Intermountain West
Mindi Sitterud-McCluskey
11. The Frontier Thesis in Transnational Migration: The U.S. West in the Making of Italy Abroad
Mark I. Choate
12. Outlanders and Inlanders: Boer Colonization in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands, 19021905
Andrew Offenburger
13. The Spatial Distribution of Hispanics in the Mountain West: 19702010
J. Matthew Shumway
14. Hispanic Mormon Immigrants in Provo, Utah
Jessie L. Embry and Meisha Slight

Suggested Readings
List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“The book reveals much of value in better comprehending the impacts of immigration on the region, historically and in the present . . . With its interdisciplinary approach, particularly connections to sociology, archaeology, economics, political science, and geography, the work will also appeal to nonhistorians in those and other fields.”
—Frank Van Nuys, associate professor of history, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and author of Americanizing the West: Race, Immigrants, and Citizenship, 1890-1930

“This is a very good volume. The essays are well written and appropriate for scholars and lay people alike.”
—The Journal of American History

“Thoroughly sourced, factually fresh, and clearly written, the book is a credit to the Redd Center and a serious contribution to immigration history.”
—Montana: The Magazine of Western History

Immigrants in the Far West makes a significant contribution and deserves recognition for the quality of the scholarship, the range of approaches, and the exploration of the oft-neglected topics.”
—Western Historical Quarterly

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search