Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?

One little question propels both author and reader on a genre-bending quest to find the elusive essence of a Canadian province built on sturdy stereotypes of oil-spoiled, beef-eating, bible-thumping rednecks devoid of class or culture. Through essay, interview, colourful observation, and whatever other exposé it takes to amplify the hyperbolic absurdity of seeking a simple answer to an incendiary question, Geo Takach spotlights the cultural complexity of this perplexing province. Readers will be delightfully edified after a dizzying romp around Wild Rose Country with Geo and a cast of citizens and celebs (alive and dead).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Title Page 4
Copyright 5
Dedication 6
Epigraph 8
Contents 10
Foreword 14
Acknowledgements 16
Opening Questions 18
1 Down to Earth? 28
Born of the Land 29
Stranger than a Strange Land 40
Openess 48
Good Sports 53
Rural Roots, Urban Shoots 57
Riches 64
Resource Battles 74
2 Rednecks or Radicals? 80
By Any Other Name 81
Non-partisan 85
Left to Right 92
Rednecks 107
Separated at Birth 132
How Canadian? 139
3 Mavericks or Sheep? 148
The Maverick Mantra 149
Autonomy 156
Begging to Differ 163
An Early Dissident 171
The Great Divide 174
The Sheep Factor 180
Bigger and Better 189
The Quintessential Albertan 208
Alberta Personified 213
Rattus Non Gratus 222
4 Cultural Backwater or Fountain? 228
The Rawhide Curtain 229
More Culture than Bacteria? 239
A Constant Source of Amazement 249
Diverse Roots 259
Yearning for Learning 268
Ears a Little More Open 275
5 Boom, Bust and Eco? 288
Peaks and Valleys 289
Eco Ground Zero 310
Green Streak 323
Going Green Meets Making Green 329
So Many Challenges 332
The Future (Ain’t What It Used to Be) 337
6 Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? 344
What’s in a Name? 345
Myths and Contradictions (Or Not) 355
In One Word 365
The Last Best West 369
Standing Up 377
Notes 384
Interviews Cited 404
Bibliography 408
Index 434