books

An expanded second edition of Andrew Scott’s The Promise of Paradise: Utopian Communities in British Columbia, was published by Harbour in March 2017.

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“A wonderful tale of perseverance, idealism—and magnificent failure.”—Peter C Newman

The Promise of Paradise explores the successes and failures of the many idealistic intentional communities that have appeared across British Columbia over the past 150 years, from the “model” Christian villages of the missionaries, through the Doukhobors, the Brother XII cult and the counterculture communes, to today’s sophisticated co-housing projects.

Many communities discovered hardship, disillusionment and failure, but new groups sprang up—and continue to spring up—to take their place. Marvel at the stamina and courage of the early Scandinavian settlers, who created utopian colonies at Bella Coola, Cape Scott and Sointula. Encounter the Emissaries of Divine Light, who went forth from their base at 100 Mile House to build hotels, own a jet and establish branches around the world. Relive the 1970s, when the Sunshine Coast’s many communes set off a storm of hostility from locals. Meet the Ochiltree Organic Commune, which rebelled against hippie standards to embrace meat-eating and coffee-drinking.

With careful research and engaging first-person accounts, the author sifts through the wreckage of the utopia-seekers’ dreams to lay bare the practices and philosophies of today’s intentional communities. This book is a compendium of astounding misadventures as well as an intriguing analysis of what moves people to search for paradise.

6″ x 9″, 272 pages, paperback, 70 b&w photos and maps,  index, $24.95  March 2017

Click here to visit the Harbour Publishing website.


The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names: A Complete Reference to Coastal British Columbia, was published by Harbour in October 2009.

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In 1909 Captain John T. Walbran published one of the most beloved and enduring of all BC books, British Columbia Coast Names. Harbour Publishing celebrates the 100th anniversary of that landmark work by presenting the first book to update Walbran’s classic, Andrew Scott’s Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names.

Like its progenitor, Raincoast Place Names is much more than simply a catalogue of name origins. It tells the often fascinating stories behind the names and in so doing serves as a history of the region in capsule form. It is also a monumental work, twice the size of Walbran’s and including more than three times as many places. Four thousand entries consider, in intriguing detail, the stories behind more than five thousand place names: how they were discovered, who named them and why, and what the names reveal. It describes the original First Nations cultures, the heroics of the 18th-century explorers and fur traders, the gruelling survey and settlement efforts of the 19th century, the lives of colonial officials, missionaries, gold seekers and homesteaders, and the histories of nearly every important vessel to sail or cruise the coast.

The book also examines—for the first time—the rich heritage of BC place names added in the 20th century. These new entries reflect the world of the steamship era, the ships and skippers of the Union and Princess lines, the heroes of the two World Wars and the sealing fleet, Esquimalt’s naval base and BC’s fishing, canning, mining and logging industries.

Richly illustrated with photos and maps, this book should be in every Pacific Northwest library. It is an essential reference work, a must-have guide for boaters and mariners, and a standard companion for anyone interested in BC history. It also makes a fine shelf-mate for the Encyclopedia of British Columbia.

7 X 10, 664 pages, cloth, maps, illustrations, charts, colour photographs $49.95 October 2009

The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names won the 2010 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional BC Book Prize and the 2009 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for historical writing. It was also a finalist for the 2010 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.


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Co-authors Andrew Scott and Daniel Bouman are pleased to announce the April 2009 publication of The People’s Water: The Fight for the Sunshine Coast’s Drinking Watersheds. For more information, click here.

68 pages, full colour, maps, photographs, bibliography. Published by the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association.


Other Books

Click each book cover for more information.

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