Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1993


Published in Great Plains Research 3:1 (February 1993), pp. 141-142. Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Modestly touted as a preliminary exploration of leisure themes and topics in Alberta during the first half of the twentieth century, this book at first glance might be rejected as too esoteric by potential readers who are neither leisure specialists nor Albertans. This would be unfortunate, since the authors have produced a most informative and relevant work with implications reaching far beyond its intended geographical and topical scope. The first three chapters constituting Part One examine the institutional, social, and technological context within which leisure in early Alberta developed, while the last eight chapters (Part Two) focus upon a comprehensive array of leisure activities ranging from team and outdoor sports to radio and cinema. With over 1500 endnotes drawing upon an impressive collection of primary and secondary sources, this carefully researched book will no doubt take its place among specialists as the seminal work on leisure in early Alberta. Moreover, a broader audience of non-specialists, particularly in Alberta, will appreciate the lucid and unpretentious prose, the contemporary photographs distributed throughout the text, the anecdotes, and the avoidance of a strictly chronological format.