CM Archive
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Pierre Berton.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart,c1983.
239pp, cloth, $50.00.
ISBN 0-7710-1288-8.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Jack Brown.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

More than ten thousand pictures of the Klondike Gold Rush are available in public archives and private collections. For this book, Berton selected 184 photographs, many of which have never been published before. He has added extensive captions and a thirty-six-page text that is different from his earlier book, Klondike. Here is the panoramic drama of the great stampede seen from the point of view of the ordinary gold seeker. This is a large book, 32 x 28cm, and some of the pictures are full double page. Many are reproduced from large glass plates, a technique that gives a remarkable depth of focus. The gold fever, the shimmering sands, the trail of dead horses, the golden stairs, the armada, the shuffling throng, the creeks, and the city of gold all come alive with brilliant clarity.

The success of Berton's book is due in part to Barbara Sears, who was his research assistant, and to Frank Newfeld, who was the designer. It is unfortunate that notes about the original photographers were not available for inclusion. Photography of such excellence deserves acknowledgement. This is a truly great photographic essay, very different from Berton's other twenty-eight books. It is a must for every Canadian library that can afford it.

Jack Brown, Kingston C. V. I., Kingston, ON.
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