Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2012


Great Plains Research 22.1 (Spring 2012)


© 2012 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


This is a carefully crafted, meticulously researched gem of a book exploring the history and intrigues of Alberta's controversies and struggles concerning child care, focused on the period since the 1960s. It is a work of historical sociology analyzing the interaction of social and political forces in Alberta clashing over the effects of child care in promoting changes in women's roles, over the negative effects of commercial child care on quality, and over the appropriate amount and type of support that governments vs. families should provide for child care. That description may make it sound too analytical and boring, but what is wonderful about Tom Langford's account is how it makes these controversies lively, detailed, and personal, through the use of archival research and contemporary interviews with historical figures.