In Ian McKay's book about Nova Scotia, The Quest of the Folk: Antimodernism and Cultural Selection in Twentieth-Century Nova Scotia (McGill-Queen's), post-modern theory collides head-on with Canadian social history, leaving sacred cows splattered all over the page. McKay argues that the image of Nova Scotia as a picture-postcard setting inhabited by rustic fisherfolk mending their nets is a fiction invented by the tourist industry and its close partner, the folklore industry. He traces the careers of several leading folklorists to show how their work has contributed to this view of Nova Scotia as an unspoiled refuge from the modern world. This is provincial history as it has not been written before, a history less interested in events than in "key myths and iconic landscapes." It is not an easy read—McKay gives in to the impulse to litter his argument with the latest academic High Jargon—but it is worth the effort, especially the final chapter where the gloves come off and he ridicules the many come-from-aways who have moved to Nova Scotia since the 1960s and, with the fervour of the converted, continue to sing its praises as an idyllic Folk culture. McKay has pioneered a fascinating new approach to regional history which I hope other historians will apply to other parts of the country.