Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research 19.1 (Spring 2009): 131-132. © 2009 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Arnold Platt, the Canadian plant breeder, farmer, and farmers’ union president in the mid-twentieth century, was probably not a very likable person due to his abrasive and pushy personality. But Ken Hoeppner’s book about his life and works shows clearly that Platt should be recognized as one of the most important figures in the agricultural history of western Canada and perhaps the entire Great Plains region. I am sometimes skeptical of anyone taking on biography, but Hoeppner’s is a model in resurrecting someone not well known outside the world of Canadian horticulture and agricultural politics. This well-conceived, carefully researched, and clearly written work brings the importance of the often unrecognized life and times of Arnold Platt to light.