An Alberta rancher himself, Elofson helps us feel the dust, sweat, cold, and danger of round-ups as well as the disheartening after-effects of stampedes. He describes the massive losses incurred when herds were subjected to winter storms, wolves, prairie fires, disease, and rustlers and provides vivid illustrations of the dangers of ordinary life for both cowboy and settler. Cowboys, Gentlemen, and Cattle Thieves argues that the greatest influence on ranchers and settlers was the need to deal with the frontier environment and shows that adoption of intensive agricultural practices helped them carve out a permanent place in rural western Canada.
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