Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 18, No.1, 2008


The writing is fluid and simple, and each chapter, in true literary style, ends with either a commentary or a cliffhanger. The photographs are clear and well chosen, with a good balance of field and family, if perhaps too many of the Isle of Wight, and not enough of the farm where his work took him to fame. There are a few historical stumbles: for example, Shilliday's sketch of the 1885 Riel Rebellion paints it as an Indian uprising, contrary to recent scholarship such as Bill Waiser and Blair Stonechild's Loyal Till Death (1997), which portrays a clear distinction between Metis and Indian roles. But overall, Canada's Wheat King offers an entertaining and informative biography of a man who did much to promote agriculture on the prairies and Great Plains.