"This book has been a long time in the making. It began as a 1970 doctoral dissertation and represents the culmination of nearly three decades of further research and reflection. .... Emery does not disappoint. As one of the few studies to examine religion in the prairie west, this book represents a welcome break from the central Canadian focus of so many recent works in religious history. Emery also departs from the prevailing preoccupation with religious ideas and elites and offers a refreshing social history approach that shifts attention away from the preacher in the pulpit to the people in the pews. In nine tightly crafted chapters, Emery surveys the history of Methodism in the west, enumerates the challenges faced by the church during the Laurier boom, describes the political and social structure of the church, analyzes church finances, profiles the clergy and the laity, and explores urban and ethnic missions. The result is a comprehensive account of the evolution of western Canadian Methodism during a period of sweeping social, economic and political transformation" (p. 209-219).