by Lesley Erickson, Independent Historian and Researcher, Vancouver. Published with UBC Press, 2011.
The history of crime and punishment is one of the principal lenses through which historians of the law investigate the relationship between the law in the books and the ‘law in action,’ and the uses of law to regulate relations among social groups. Professor Lesley Erickson’s account of the operation of the criminal law in the prairie west in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries performs both tasks admirably. Using local court records and a rich variety of other sources, Erickson examines the use of the law on reserves, in the cities, and in the countryside, from high profile cases to day-to-day policing and punishment practices. This is an invaluable addition to the Osgoode Society’s socio-legal history collection, and we are very pleased to publish the first of what we are sure will be many books by Professor Erickson.