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History General

Village Among Nations

"Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916-2006

by (author) Royden Loewen

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2013
General, Mennonite, Mexico
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2013
    List Price

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Between the 1920s and the 1940s, 10,000 traditionalist Mennonites emigrated from western Canada to isolated rural sections of Northern Mexico and the Paraguayan Chaco; over the course of the twentieth century, they became increasingly scattered through secondary migrations to East Paraguay, British Honduras, Bolivia, and elsewhere in Latin America. Despite this dispersion, these Canadian-descendant Mennonites, who now number around 250,000, developed a rich transnational culture over the years, resisting allegiance to any one nation and cultivating a strong sense of common peoplehood based on a history of migration, nonviolence, and distinct language and dress.

Village among Nations recuperates a missing chapter of Canadian history: the story of these Mennonites who emigrated from Canada for cultural reasons, but then in later generations “returned” in large numbers for economic and social security. Royden Loewen analyzes a wide variety of texts, by men and women – letters, memoirs, reflections on family debates on land settlement, exchanges with curious outsiders, and deliberations on issues of citizenship. They relate the untold experience of this uniquely transnational, ethno-religious community.

About the author

Royden Loewen is a senior scholar at the University of Winnipeg. His books include Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World and Village Among Nations: "Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916–2006.


Royden Loewen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘Royden Loewen’s monograph is a fantastic, insightful, and nuanced study… The book is an important contribution to migration history and is a must read for anybody interested in adding transnational perspectives to Canadian history.’

Canadian Historical Review vol 97:01:2016

‘Village among Nations is a patiently pieced together patchwork of memoirs, letters, newspapers, diaries, and the research of graduate students; what emerges from the many pieces is a coherent and compelling whole, the most comprehensive portrait of the Low German world  to date.’

The Mennonite Quarterly Review; January 2015

‘Loewen has created a sources that transcends the academy and is accessible for a broad audience….The book’s most significant contribution is that it creates a scholarly map identifying the terrain for future studies. As such, this is a path breaking work.’

Journal of Mennonite Studies, vol 32:2014

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