Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, 1896-1899

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Doubleday Canada, Limited, 2001 - History - 496 pages
With the building of the railroad and the settlement of the plains, the North West was opening up. The Klondike stampede was a wild interlude in the epic story of western development, and here are its dramatic tales of hardship, heroism, and villainy. We meet Soapy Smith, dictator of Skagway; Swiftwater Bill Gates, who bathed in champagne; Silent Sam Bonnifield, who lost and won back a hotel in a poker game; and Roddy Connors, who danced away a fortune at a dollar a dance. We meet dance-hall queens, paupers turned millionaires, missionaries and entrepreneurs, and legendary Mounties such as Sam Steele, the Lion of the Yukon.

Pierre Berton's riveting account reveals to us the spectacle of the Chilkoot Pass, and the terrors of lesser-known trails through the swamps of British Columbia, across the glaciers of souther Alaska, and up the icy streams of the Mackenzie Mountains. It contrasts the lawless frontier life on the American side of the border to the relative safety of Dawson City. Winner of the Governor General's award for non-fiction, Klondike is authentic history and grand entertainment, and a must-read for anyone interested in the Canadian frontier.

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User Review  - ralphz - LibraryThing

This is an eye-opening account of an important piece of history. The Klondike gold rush experience of the "sourdoughs" and "cheekachos" - veteran Klondikers and the gold rush naifs, all of whom ... Read full review

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User Review  - ladycato - LibraryThing

I bought this book so I could read up on Alaskan history before our cruise this summer, and I was worried I made a poor choice. Klondike Fever is a brick of a book at about 450 pages. If it was in ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Pierre Berton, Canada's most widely read historian, was born in the Yukon and educated at UBC. Author of forty-seven books, he has received three Governor General's awards for nonfiction, two Nellies for broadcasting, two National Newspaper awards, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and the National History Society's first award for "distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history." He holds eleven honorary degrees, is a member of the Newsman's Hall of Fame, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

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