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For King and Country: Alberta in the Second World War

For King and CountryCopyright © 1995 Provincial Museum of Alberta
Edited by Ken Tingley
364 pages - Over 166 B&W; photos, foreword, preface, acknowledgements and individual article footnotes and bibliographies,
8 1/2'' x 11 1/2'', out of print, ISBN 1-895073-81-2.

To mark the end of the Second World War, the Provincial Museum of Alberta (now the Royal Alberta Museum) developed a travelling exhibit that opened in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on 4 February, 1995. For King and Country was published to complement the exhibit. The book examines the many ways in which the war affected the people of Alberta, and shaped the society in which they lived.

In Canada, we tend to lose sight of our own unique history because it is often overshadowed by the American and British stories revealed on television and on film. Even within Canada, western perspectives on national events are often lost. This is the impetus behind For King and Country.

The commemorative essays, comissioned by the exhibit's curator Maurice Doll and by editor Ken Tingley, gathered important aspects of political geography, modern economics, and popular culture to that cataclysm that was the Second World War. They document the successes and failures of Albertans and their impact on the world as witnessed and judged by Albertans. Presenting a particularly Albertan perspective, these works are an attempt to focus equally on services both overseas and on the homefront: they examine the experiences of thousands of men and women in the Army, Navy, and Air Forces and those of the thousands of civilians who backed them up at home.

The cover of the book, shown here, is illustrated with a special painting by renowned military artist and Albertan Ronald Volstad. Used to introduce the travelling exhibit For King and Country: Alberta in the Second World War, the painting depicts Canadian men and women in Second World War uniform serving in land, sea, and air forces and as nursing sisters.

A highly emotional time for Albertans, the Second World War is a complex, if not altogether controversial, subject to describe. It is therefore important for readers, when reviewing the materials presented here in digital format, to judge the attitudes and actions not by modern standards, but by those of the time.

The front matter of the book and selected essays are reprinted on the World War II: The Homefront in Alberta website with the permission of the publisher and authors.

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