The stories told in this collection, though tragic for many, illustrate the steadfast determination and courage of people in the face of misfortune and extreme distress. From the lesser-known weed outbreaks and tornadoes to the world-wide influenza outbreak in 1918 that devastated many Calgary families, these stories focus on the human side of these disasters. It may be a heroic individual or the collective response of a community, but what is truly remarkable in these stories is the human response to the world being turned upside down by famine and disease, by flood, fire, or rock slide, by wind and cold, by dynamite or gas explosions, or even by the seemingly mundane threat of weeds upon crops. It is the resolution to continue to fight and the persistence of the human spirit and its adaptability to challenges that is the true story of a century of development in western Canada.
With Contributions By: David Breen Patrick H. Brennan J.M Bumsted Joe Cherwinski Hugh A. Dempsey Janice Dickin Clint Evans Lorry W. Felske Max Foran David C. Jones Anthony Rasporich
These well–written, thoroughly researched, and generously illustrated essays convincingly demonstrate that both nature and human agency can cause disasters but that resilient western Canadians often overcame situations that had put them in harm's way.
—Patricia E. Roy, Great Plains Quarterly