CM Archive
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Barry Gough.

Toronto, Grolier, c1983.
(Focus on Canadian History).
95pp,paperbound boards, $8.95.
ISBN 0-7172-1845-7.

Grades 5 and up.
Reviewed by Anne Kirkpatric.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

One of Grolier's well-researched Focus on Canadian History series, Gold Rush attempts to survey gold rush history from California of 1849 to current claims near Hemlo, Ontario. Its ninety-six pages chronicle the outstanding names, claims, dates, and locations of successive finds. It illustrates clearly the extreme hardships and privations miners and merchants were prepared to suffer in search of fortune and attributes the development of many far-flung points in British Columbia and the Yukon to their relentless quest. Systems of government, law, commerce, transportation, and communication that responded to the urgent demands are also noted.

However, though there are judicious quotes and anecdotes drawn from notable personalities, excitement and immediacy lose out to facts and figures. Daily life for the average miner is scarcely mentioned, and even less is said of the Indians, Chinese, shopkeepers, prostitutes, and clergy whose names are forgotten but whose roles were all significant.

Since there is a need for materials to support fifth grade studies of British Columbia history, this volume is certainly useful. It is clearly organized in chronological order. Capticned black-and-white illustrations, either muddy copies of old photographs or line drawings, appear on every third or fourth page. Its table of contents, glossary, selected biographies, index, and discussion questions for each chapter are designed for student use. It will not, however, appeal to many as recreational reading.

Anne Kirkpatrick, Mission Hill E. S., Vemon, BC.
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