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Somebody Else's Money Paperback – Aug 10 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: University of Calgary Press; 1 edition (Aug. 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552382575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552382578
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 14.8 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #475,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 26 2010
Format: Paperback
Never having been very knowledgeable about the vocation of ranching, I thought I would give Professor Elofson's history of the Walrond Ranch in southern Alberta a try, and I wasn't disappointed. In this study I learned why big-scale ranching failed to take hold in the Canadian West during the early days of Confederation. Not only does Elofson describes an incredible complex and colorful tale as to how megaranches like the Walrond one and others came into existence in the decades leading up to the 20th century, he also offers some decent analysis as to why many of them also failed. Firstly, this was an enterprise sprung on Ottawa granting cheap land to wealthy barons back in England on the promise that they would then open the country to settlers. Secondly, it worked on the premise that, as a ranch, it would attract investors into the agricultural sector, thus securing a much needed food source for the growth of western Canadian cities. And thirdly, such an undertaking would encourage the building on new railway spurs into the region. Well, none of these visions happened because of some fatal flaws in the grand scheme of things: lack of proper herd and range management; lack of appreciation of environmental hazards; and poor understanding of economic opportunities. The book is full of fascinating anecdotes of how this particular stretch of ranch land called the Walrond Property lurched from one disaster to another as neither big government or the original investors had a clue as to how to keep a close eye on their investments. This work serves both as a critique of big dreams gone bad and a tribute to the gritty determination of the early cowboys and cowhands of the West in their efforts to make a living out of some very unyielding landscape.Read more ›
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