The use and abuse of the idea of the "Simple Life" in tourism promotion and the massive dissemination of folk images are analysed in depth. McKay examines how Nova Scotia's cultural history was rewritten to erase evidence of an urban, capitalist society, of class and ethnic differences, and of women's emancipation. He sheds new light on the roles of Helen Creighton, the Maritime region's most famous folklorist, and Mary Black, an influential handicrafts revivalist, in creating this false identity. McKay also looks at the infusion of the folk ideology into the art and literature of the region. McKay puts the folk concept into contemporary and international contexts by drawing on Marxist notions of political economy, Gramscian models of cultural production and hegemony, and Foucaultian structuralism. The Quest of the Folk will be of interest to folklorists, cultural historians, literary scholars, and anyone with an interest in the local history of the Maritimes or Maritime regional identity.