Stampede City: Power and Politics in the West
Gerald J. Stortz is an assistant professor of history at St. Jerome’s
College, University of Waterloo.
Chuck Reasons is a sociology professor at the University of Calgary. His previous book is Assault on the Worker: Occupational Health and Safety in Canada.
Originally someone else’s idea, this work is a collection of footnoted essays forming “an inquiry into both the boom and the bust” (p.7). As one might predict of a product of the Calgary Collective Ltd., published by an alternative press, it is not a Festschrift to the Calgary establishment. It is, however, a fascinating look at power and politics in a Western boomtown in decline. What emerges is an admittedly biased but engrossing account of Calgary urban life. It is not a utopian vision that is dealt with here, but a consideration of all aspects of life in Calgary from the cost of living, to city politics, to media control. In essays that will render some Calgarians ecstatic and others apoplectic, even the venerable Stampede is subjected to critical analysis. To the non-Calgarian, it provides a portrait of the city absent from the mainstream media. On the whole, Stampede Cityis quite simply a good read.