Mental Territories: Mapping the Inland Empire

Synopsis

Rarely recognized outside its boundaries today, the Pacific Northwest region known at the turn of the century as the Inland Empire included portions of the states of Washington and Idaho, as well as British Columbia. Katherine G. Morrissey traces the history of this self-proclaimed region from its origins through its heyday. In doing so, she challenges the characterization of regions as fixed places defined by their geography, economy, and demographics. Regions, she argues, are best understood as mental constructs, internally defined through conflicts and debates among different groups of people seeking to control a particular area's identity and direction. She tells the story of the Inland Empire as a complex narrative of competing perceptions and interests.