How the West Was Written

The Life and Times of James H. Gray

By (author) Brian Brennan
Foreword by Bill Waiser
Categories: Biography & Autobiography
Publisher: Fifth House Publishers
Hardcover : 9781894856621, 224 pages, August 2006


Brian Brennan is an award-winning, bestselling author who specializes in books about the colourful personalities and social history of western Canada.

Gray wrote his first book, The Winter Years, in 1946, when he was 60, after seeding considerable time as a newspaper reporter. The book was not actually published until 1966, when it became a national bestseller. Gray would produce 12 more books over the next 26 years. His trademark was an accessible and lucid style, peppered with wit and sarcasm. His social history emphasis was much ahead of its time.


"an engaging biography, rich in personal detail and insight. Gray would have liked this book."
Bill Waiser

"Brennan crafts a rich portrait of a man fiercely independent and unafraid to state his opinions. . . Gray's life unfolds with vigour in this deftly written first biography."
The Western Standard

"Without a doubt, this will remain the definitive biography of a major Canadian popular historian."
Fast Forward weekly

"A very readable biography. . . It is a tribute to Brennan's book that he makes us want to go back and read Gray himself."
The Literary Review of Canada

"A light and funny book that tells the story of a maverick who first tackled subjects such as the drinking habits and sexcapades of the West's earliest settlers."
Calgary Herald