William "Bible Bill" Aberhart is remembered as one of the oddest political leaders in Canadian history. During the Great Depression, he emerged from the obscurity of a religious sect he founded himself to preach a radical new economic doctrine. He fulfilled none of his pre-election promises during his eight years as premier. Yet the force of his personality was such that at the time of his death, while still serving in office, he had more believers than doubters. The political dynasty he established – the world's first Social Credit government – remained in power in Alberta for another 28 years.
Unlike Aberhart, the Alberta women known as the Famous Five actually did achieve something significant, aside from getting their names into the history books. They lobbied successfully for the constitutional change that resulted in Canadian women, hitherto disenfranchised, becoming eligible for Senate appointments.
There are many other important achievers in this best-selling collection of biographical profiles by best-selling social historian Brian Brennan:
Karl Clark used his training as a chemist to develop a primitive method for extracting oil from the Alberta oil sands that formed the basis for the sophisticated technology used by the industry today.
Ruth Carse founded the Alberta Ballet as an amateur troupe in 1958, secured government funding to have it turn professional in 1966, and saw it flourish under her artistic leadership to become recognized internationally as one of Canada's top ballet companies.
Eugene Steinhauer broke ground as a First Nations broadcasting pioneer who provided a voice for his people through his CBC Radio programs and fought to have protection of treaty and aboriginal rights enshrined in the Canadian constitution.
Catharine Robb Whyte established a museum in Banff that today provides an important key to understanding the history and culture of the Canadian Rockies.
Add this book to your library today and discover how some trailblazing individuals, blending vision with pragmatism, spent time in Alberta during its first century, marched to the beat of their own drum corps, and created a rhythm that was truly special, truly unique, truly Albertan.
Praise for this book: "If there's any justice this side of the Pearly Gates, it resides in the eye of a fair-minded biographer. Not only does Brian Brennan give overdue credit and redress neglect, but he makes sense of the province's past by revisiting the lives of Alberta's dear departed." – Edmonton Journal