The Other Alberta: Decoding a Political Enigma


146 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-88977-192-8
DDC 971.23




Reviewed by Joseph Garcea

Joseph Garcea is a professor of political Studies at the University of


The central message of this book is that the Alberta that everyone
thinks they know is really a political construct of opportunistic and/or
uninformed politicians. The real Alberta, or at least “The Other
Alberta,” remains a political enigma to most people.

In seeking to broaden our understanding of both the constructed Alberta
and the “other” Alberta, the author does a much better job of
explaining the former. Along the way, she provides an interesting
(albeit all too brief) overview of some important political and economic
events in the province’s history, including the transfer of control
for natural resources from the federal government, the anti-bank
movement, and the emergence of the populist tradition and what the
author calls the non-partisan tradition. Elsewhere in the book, Barrie
compares Alberta’s political culture with other political cultures,
and provides interesting insights into the role that politicians and the
media have played in the construction of the Albertan and Canadian
identities in the province.

Given the complexity of its themes, The Other Alberta is recommended to
those with a good understanding of Alberta’s political, social, and
economic history.


Barrie, Doreen., “The Other Alberta: Decoding a Political Enigma,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,