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1. The Invasion of Canada: 1812-1813
2. Marching As to War: Canada's Turbulent
3. My Country: The Remarkable Past
4. The Arctic Grail: The Quest for
5. Flames Across the Border: 1813-1814
6. Berton Pierre : Why We Act Like
7. Pierre Berton's Canada: The Land
8. Prisoners of the North: Portraits
9. Drifting Home: A Family's Voyage
10. The Last Spike (the Great Railway
11. Klondike: The Last Great Gold
12. Sterling Point Books: Stampede
13. Niagara: A History of the Falls
14. The Golden Trail: The Story of
15. Pierre Berton: A Biography
16. Steel Across the Shield (Adventures
17. Attack on Montreal (Adventures
18. The Great Railway
19. For the Love of History : Winners
20. The Men in Sheepskin Coats (Berton,

1. The Invasion of Canada: 1812-1813
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 368 Pages (2001-08-14)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385658397
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
To America's leaders in 1812, an invasion of Canada seemed to be "a mere matter of marching," as Thomas Jefferson confidently predicted. How could a nation of 8 million fail to subdue a struggling colony of 300,000? Yet, when the campaign of 1812 ended, the only Americans left on Canadian soil were prisoners of war. Three American armies had been forced to surrender, and the British were in control of all of Michigan Territory and much of Indiana and Ohio.

In this remarkable account of the war's first year and the events that led up to it, Pierre Berton transforms history into an engrossing narrative that reads like a fast-paced novel. Drawing on personal memoirs and diaries as well as official dispatches, the author has been able to get inside the characters of the men who fought the war — the common soldiers as well as the generals, the bureaucrats and the profiteers, the traitors and the loyalists.

Berton believes that if there had been no war, most of Ontario would probably be American today; and if the war had been lost by the British, all of Canada would now be part of the United States. But the War of 1812, or more properly the myth of the war, served to give the new settlers a sense of community and set them on a different course from that of their neighbours. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Credible Account
Over the years, I have heard quite a lot of nationalistic bluster in regard to the events in this book. For that and other reasons, I have looked for some authoritative accounts. My impression here is that Pierre Berton had no axe to grind. The story is fair and engaging.

The author's take on combat is that leadership and discipline trump numbers, much to the disadvantage of the United States in 1812. It really was a different world. Imagine a militia in which officers were elected by the volunteers, commanders refused to recognize each other's authority, and a general had to negotiate with his own troops, even to the point of begging them to engage in battle.

The other side had problems of its own. Canadian loyalty is shown to have been somewhat fickle and partly dependent on their confidence in victory. We see how the British had to balance complicated and uncomfortable alliances with Indian tribes who had mixed motives. The Indians receive no free pass on the atrocities inflicted upon civilians and surrendered soldiers.

The characters are even more complex than the events, and they are presented with insight and occasional wit. I enjoyed the description of Brigadier-General William Wadsworth as "the most eloquently profane officer in the (US) army." A particularly sympathetic man is Major-General Stephen Van Rensselaer of the New York Militia. His position was a political appointment, but not one of his own making. It would have been easy enough to dismiss him as an unqualified political hack, but a compelling case is made to show him as a man who was placed at the Niagara River by opponents who wanted him out of the way. Duty kept him there in spite of it all.

I did note a few contradictions and implausible suggestions. How could there not be a few? On the whole, it holds up quite well. Gratefully absent from this narrative is the pop-history practice of trivializing people and events. No wooden teeth stories here. The war was deadly, the people were real, and Berton respected that.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very well written, but only covers 1812
I liked this book.It was very well written, very entertaining and very informative.Numerous well-drawn maps that clarify the text are provided, as is a very useful "cast of characters", organized by area and battle.The author has created a book that reads like a novel, but is based on original scholarship.The book clearly lays out the initial land campaigns of the war of 1812, highlighting the inadequacies of US military leadership, which led to a string of defeats by numerically inferior, but much better led British\Canadian forces.Based only on the title and the fact that the author is Canadian, I half expected an anti-US screed, which this book certainly is not.The causes for the war are clearly laid out (i.e., the British "impressments" of US sailors (recovery of deserters in the British view), restriction of US trade (to weaken Napoleon) and British support of the Indians against the US (in order to gain and keep necessary allies, without whose support victory would be impossible).The book gives a very clear picture of the earliest phases of the war.It shows the US army (and militia units) to have been led by incompetents, in contrast to the excellent leadership of British forces by Isaac Brock and his subordinates.As was often the case in early US history, the US entered the war with great expectations, but completely unprepared, either in terms of equipment, training or leadership. Unfortunately, the book only deals with the earliest phases of the US-Canadian part of the war of 1812.The eventual turnaround in US fortunes, with respect to the Canadian theater of war, is only hinted at.

I could not give this book five stars because of what I perceive as several deficiencies.The title of the book is misleading.It is more about the invasion of America by Canada than the other way around.True, the Canadian invasion occurred in order to forestall a probable invasion by the US.The fact remains, however, that the first breach of the border occurred by Canada invading US territory when the local US forces did not even know that the US had declared war against Great Britain.Except for a brief US incursion, rapidly followed by a quick retreat back across the border, all of the fighting described in the book was on US soil.More importantly, I also had a problem with the fact that the title states that the book covers 1812-1813, yet except for some actions that carried over into January of 1813, everything takes place in 1812.This is very important because the fighting between the US and British\Canadian forces can only be adequately understood if the events of 1813 are also covered in some detail.The title to the contrary, the book does not describe the 1813 fighting on land that pushed the British and Indians from Fort Detroit, nor the American naval victories on Lakes Champlain and Erie that led to the actual American invasion of Canada and the capture and burning of the provincial capitol of York (modern day Toronto).The burning of York is never even mentioned, even though it occurred in 1813 and, in part, led to the retaliatory burning of Washington DC. The net effect of this misleading title is to produce a partial picture of the US-British\Canadian fighting during the initial phases of the War of 1812.

As I said, I liked the book, but I was disappointed that I was getting only a very limited view of the War of 1812.Had the book covered 1813, as the title implies, I would have likely given it five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars War of Canadian Independence
A wonderful book by Canada's foremost historian commemorates the War of 1812 as Canada's War of Independence.

The War of 1812 was initiated by President Madison as a war of conquest against Ontario (or Lower Canada, as it was then known).The British forces were arrayed against various un-coordinated American attacks, and the Americans fared particularly badly in 1812-13, notably losing Detroit.

This instalment does not reach the later events of the war, in which more of a stalemate developed (and the Americans scored some big naval victories).But the Canadians never doubted that the campaigns covered in this book - of 1812-13 - had marked a long-term strategic victory, guaranteeing Canada's separate identity, and the inner leadership clique of English-speaking, ethnically Scottish Presbyterians who ran the war effort became the ruling elite of Canada for over a century (if not to this day).

Many key characters of American history come here:General (later President) Harrison; Indian chief Tecumseh; President Madison and President Jefferson.This volume, however, gives equal time (if not precedence) to the Canadian heroes of the campaigns, including in particular celebrates loyalist heroes such as Brock and Strachan.Superb account of the war's critical, indeed decisive, early years.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview from the frontlines.
This volume is an excellent introduction to the War of 1812. The Canadian author maintains his objectivity throughout the volume, and gives accurate and telling details to causes, politics, and leadership on both sides of the northern North American border and how that affected the progress of the war. After reading this book, the reader will come away baffled and outraged at the level of incompetence shown on both sides (initially the US side however), and the level of audacity and caution exhibited by both sides as well. In summation, a highly recommended book, that will provide a good base upon which a detailed understanding of causes, effects, and results of many aspects of this war can be attained.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Agree Wholeheartedly
The two reviews below are absolutely correct.Pierre Berton has written a great masterpiece of narrative history.I first read this book almost 20 years ago, and I can still recall the enjoyment it gave.This is perhaps the best book of history in terms of enjoyable reading which I have come across.The only author in the same league today is Simon Schama, and he generally works in somewhat more esoteric, less popular areas.I have also discussed the excellence of Berton's writing in a review of the companion volume Flames Across the Border:1813-14 which, along with this text, makes up as fine a two volume set of North American history as can be obtained. ... Read more

2. Marching As to War: Canada's Turbulent Years 1899-1953
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 640 Pages (2002)
-- used & new: US$19.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385258194
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fun to read but controversial
Pierre Berton holds a special place in the pantheon of popular historians, as the man who has brought Canadian history to life.I have read Vimy, his 2-volume set on the War of 1812 (The Invasion of Canada and Flames Across the Border), and others.Even something as potentially tedious as building a railroad springs to life in The Last Spike.So it was with eager anticipation that I waited for Marching as to War.Surely the subject matter - Canada's 4 wars between 1899 and 1953 - was so grand that the master Berton would dazzle once again.

Then the critics sucked the wind from my (and Berton's!) sails.Jack Granatstein (ironically, a later winner of the Pierre Berton award for historical writing) blasted the book's facts.If I may quote from his review in Quill and Quire: "Berton messes up the battle of Paardeberg in South Africa; he has Sam Hughes as minister of militia after he was sacked; he attacks Dieppe in 1942 with a division instead of a brigade; and even his chart of military formations and ranks is full of errors."To be fair to Berton, some of these issues are irrelevant to his audience of amateur historians - calling a brigade a division is likely a "typo" that should have been caught by the editors, for example.

More importantly, the book does not do narrative justice to its subject matter.Berton spends far too much time being indignant than in presenting his story.It's one thing to denigrate the Boer War as being crass imperialism (it was), but it's another to declare that Canada's contributions to all the big wars of the 20th century were stupid and futile.This is clearly not going to endear him to the majority of Canadians who are proud of their country's military contributions.It's not so much that Berton expresses this view, it's that he beats it to death over and over.Further, the average armchair historian well knows that corruption, profiteering, and stupidity percolate through all military adventures (of all countries!), so why does he get so angry by the examples he cites in this book?

Ultimately, though, Berton at his worst is still better than most populist historians.The flow and pacing of the book is quite good.The prose itself is fun and easy to read.Knowing that there are some errors does not decrease from the enjoyment, especially since most of the errors are those that the layman will not notice, or even care about.I enjoyed the book, but I could have done without the quivering indignation that Berton infuses into too many passages.

4-0 out of 5 stars CEF Researchers Must Read!
CEF Study Group:
Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:21 pmPost subject: Marching as to War: Pierre Berton

Okay, I am not a great fan of Pierre's accuracy when it comes to Great War texts (i.e "Vimy"), however in this case I can say that this is a "must read" for the serious WW1 researcher.

What I found most interesting was how PB went back into the Boer War and showed how the "politics" of the Canadian Army developed during this period. He also covered the period in Canada when Laurier, Borden, Haig, Bourassa, Hughes (and even some mention of Diefenbaker) were battling it out on the home front. I thought it would be boring but in actual fact it added a considerable amount to what I knew about the "life and times" of the first decade of the century.

I am now at the point in the book that WW1 has ended and so I do not know how much further I will go, but he has my interest. Perhaps, as it suggests, WWII was not a separate war but the "finalization" of the Great War.

You will want to read this book!

This is the LINK on Amazon but on my paperback version it is Currie on the cover .... but this is an interesting photo on the hardcover version as only this week (August 2005) did the lady in the picture identify herself in the Toronto Star:

Cheers to all, happy reading!!
Grandson Richard Van Wyck Laughton
Paternal: Great War: George Van Wyck Laughton
Maternal: Great War: Josiah Alexander Chancellor Kennedy
We Live Today for Their Valiant Efforts Then

4-0 out of 5 stars Berton is always worth reading
I have read many of Pierre Berton's books, and this one is typical Berton in many ways.He always attempts to take a look at events through a different slant.This book is no different.It both describes Canada's development and maturation of a nation through its participation in four separate international conflicts, and it also uses those conflicts as a measure of the nation itself.The two word wars were the major interest points in this book.Of particular significance is when Berton smashes Canada's storm trooper image in the second world war, that it had acquired in WWI.He effectively discredits both the armed forces and political leadership during WWII, revealling Mackenzie King's once revered "Not necessarily conscription but conscription if necessary" stance as what it truly was, political indecision that resulted in the needless loss of soldier's lives.The book starts and ends slowly, with the chapters on the Boer and Korean wars not being as compelling.Overall, the book is very informative read.It loses a star in that it is not as entertaining or as smooth flowing as some of Berton's previous works, particular his two on the War of 1812 and the Arctic Grail

5-0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Aspect of Canadian History
Of course, most Americans dont know much about Canada at all. What we have forgotten is the reputation that Canada had in the early 20th Century as a, believe it or not, military nation. Pierre Berton, the dean of Canadian popular historians (I highly recommend is books on the War of 1812 and the Canadian Pacific Railway) has written a book that, by tracing the way Canada fought and approached the wars it fought in the 20th Century (give or take a couple of years), shows how a raw, immigrant, frontier society, with significant social and ethnic divisions, can come to maturity and take a constructive place in world affairs.

The story starts with the Boer War, and English Canada's enthusiam for the empire, when Sir Wilfred Laurier could say that Canada stands "ready, aye ready" to play its role in defending the empire. It leads to a lot of young men getting killed and tension between English and French-speaking Canada. Quebec is far less excited about sending young men to die for the empire it seems than the rest of Canada. The Boer war leads to some questioning of war and support of the empire, but not much, paving the way for Canada's participation in World War I.

This was a much greater question and a larger commitment by the nation. Canada, Australia and New Zealand quickly joined in the war against Germany, and began to organize armies and send troops to Europe almost immediately. The extent of Canadian (and Australian) participation in the war is one of the forgotten aspects, at least in the U.S. Canadian troops quickly gained a fearsome reputation on the Western Front, and by 1918 were, along with the Australians, considered the shocktroops of the British Army. If an offensive were being planned, you could be sure that the Canadians and the Australians would be used. Vimy Ridge and Amiens were only two of the places that Berton writes about.

The cost was high, however. As manpower in the Canadian corps began to run short the Borden government introduced conscription, which inflammed the French/English split, as well as alienating some of the farm communities in western Canada. The effects would be felt in World War II. Canada was also an early participant in this war, in support of Great Britain. An army was raised to fight in Europe (seeing action in Italy and France). But the Mackenzie King government steadfastly refused to adopt conscription, even to the point of seeing their military contribution to the allies decay. A tension between Canadian militance and willingness to participate in war, and the needs of preserving the unity of the country was apparent, and grew even larger as a result of participation in the last great war of the 20th C, in Korea.

What the Canadians pioneered as a result of this history, is a national commitment to peacekeeping and support of the UN. Lester Pearson made his reputation during the Suez crisis as a peacekeeper, a commitment Canada keeps to this day. Its important to note on the 10th anniversary of the genocide, that the UN General in Rwanda was a Canadian, and he did all he could to preserve lives despite the failure of the UN - or the rest of the world - to back him up.

Berton's book dramatically illustrates the transformation. Canada went from a jingoistic nation, supporting Britain's empire in wars in AFrica and Europe, with a worldwide reputation for courage and military skill, to one of the prime supporters of peacekeeping in the late 20th Century. Nations can grow up after all. ... Read more

3. My Country: The Remarkable Past
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002)
-- used & new: US$22.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385659288
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable stories
This very Canadian book by a revered Canadian icon is a collection of little stories about unusual events that happened in Canada years ago. They come from fireside chats the author originally told on TV, and then wrote down as stories. When they became popular, he published them as this book.

They are all interesting stories about events I had never heard about before I read the book. An example is the race across Canada early in the last century, when five people decided to race on foot from east to west, just to see who would win. I very much enjoyed the stories and the pleasant way they are written. ... Read more

4. The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and The North Pole, 1818-1909
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 672 Pages (2000-08)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$46.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585741167
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Culled from extensive research of handwritten diaries andprivate journals, Arctic Grail is the definitive book on the age ofarctic exploration and adventure.

Journey across the ice with a Who's Who of polar explorers, men of every temperament, including the pious and ambitious Edward Perry, the first explorer to probe deep into the Arctic labyrinth; Adolphus Greely, a Civil War veteran who had to watch his men starve to death on Ellesmere Island; Robert McClure, who claimed that he was the first to find the fabled Northwest Passage; and the flawed hero John Franklin, a meek naval officer whose expeditions were responsible for the deaths of more men than those of any other Arctic explorer. Travel with the adventurer Roald Amundsen, the cool Norwegian who completed a voyage in a tiny sloop that the British Navy failed to accomplish with its great three-masted ships; Frederick Cook, who lied about reaching the North Pole; and finally, the ruthless and paranoid Robert Peary, who claimed to have reached the North Pole in 1909.

As much about the explorers who braved impossible odds as it is about each expedition, Arctic Grail is an epic account of the Golden Age of Exploration at the top of the world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gifted Writer. Thorough Historian. Dry Humor!!
I love this book so much. I got it for the subject and am now convinced I need to get my lil paws on everything he's ever written. Easy to read and full of exceptionally well-researched information. Could 600+ pages of arctic adventure story be any more captivating? Never ever slow or tedious. It put so much of my previous arctic reading in useful context. And I laughed. Outloud! Fair and balanced and entertaining. Fantastic character portraits. Just wow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Berton's a great story teller
First thing, I ran out of Antarctic books to read. I've read them all. So, naturally, I had to find something else to read. First book I tried about Arctic exploration was Frozen in time. Excellent book. The Arctic was worth a second try. Here comes The Arctic Grail. Fantastic work. Couldn't put the book down. Learning about John Ross, Adolfus Greely, Soloman Andre, Robert McClure, John Rae and so on was a marvelous experience for me. The Artic's history is as fascinating has the Antarctic's.

You'll get a fine introduction to the Peary-Frederick A Cook rivalry. However, if you need to deepend your knowledge of that controversy, may I suggest "Cook and Peary, the Polar controversy resolved". Dr Cook is a fellow one has to know.

Back to the book at hand, you'll learn that the British Navy...learned absolutly nothing about polar travel and your appreciation of Robert Falcon Scott will sink even lower.

5 big stars for Pierre Berton.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lucky Find
My husband was cleaning out one of our closets last week and came across this book. I can't remember buying it, but I'm so glad I did...it's my new 'desert island book'. To be read, re-read and savored every time. The subject is fascinating and the way the author weaves together the explorers journeys, various other personalities and the history of the day makes it seem like you were (almost) there with them. Not only is it a terrific read, but it has a fabulous bibliography that will make a great jumping off point for further reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Epic tales of Arctic explorations
Published in 1988, the Arctic Grail, still remains a benchmark literary achievement. The book provides an in-depth chronicle of the major 19th and 20th century U.S., Canadian and European Arctic explorations. Pierre Berton, author and renowned Canadian history scholar, provides a first class documentation of the men and women associated with these daring explorations. His writing style, expert research and refreshing Canadian perspective makes the subject matter leap off the page. His attention to character,place and time adds an extra dimension to the reading experience.
The book is primarily sectioned into the chronicle of each major exploration. The trials and tribulations of the primary characters and supporting cast make for a shocking and fascinating story.
Examples include the 1845 disappearance of Sir John Franklin and his entire 129 member crew. The 1871 mysterious death of Charles Hall during his third Arctic exploration. The ill fated 1879 Jeanette expedition is another unbelievable tale. Salmon Andree' 1879 bizarre attempt to reach the pole in his hot air balloon, the Eagle, defies credulity.Roald Amundsen's 1905 successful discovery of the Northwest passage is a book within a book.The early 20th century race for the North Pole between Robert Peary and Frederick Cooke and its impact on their legacy proves riveting. These are but a few of the historical tales contained within the books 671 pages.
If this book was not historical fact, it would read as a first class piece of literary fiction.
As a final note, the reprints, maps and diagrams, contained within the book, add a major element to the enjoyment of following and related to these Arctic adventures. Highly recommended, both as a historical documentation and for pure adventure reading pleasure.

4-0 out of 5 stars Folly and Courage
This hefty door-stopper details the first century of Arctic exploration, from the intrepid but failed first expedition of British Navy commander Sir John Ross to the flawed triumph of America's Robert Peary, whose expedition to the North Pole made him an international hero -- though it was revealed decades later that Peary had faked his data and probably never actually reached the pole.

Berton was a great writer and historian, and he makes each of the explorers and their expeditions come alive in fascinating detail.
Tragically, most of the expeditions were failures that resulted in strandings, lost ships, horrible deaths from scurvy and starvation, and the loss of countless seasons that could have been used to further human knowledge and instead were spent waging a desperate battle just to survive. The march of human folly is on display in page after page of this book.

If you like history and are interested in explorers and what makes them tick, you will enjoy this book.

Reviewers: Liz Clare, co-author of the historical novel "To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis and Clark" ... Read more

5. Flames Across the Border: 1813-1814
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 496 Pages (2001-08-14)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385658389
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Canada – U.S. border was in flames as the War of 1812 continued. York's parliament buildings were on fire, Niagara-on-the-Lake burned to the ground and Buffalo lay in ashes. Even the American capital of Washington, far to the south, was put to the torch. The War of 1812 had become one of the nineteenth century's bloodiest struggles.

Flames Across the Border is a compelling evocation of war at its most primeval level — the muddy fields, the frozen forests and the ominous waters where men fought and died. Pierre Berton skilfully captures the courage, determination and terror of the universal soldier, giving new dimension and fresh perspective to this early conflict between the two emerging nations of North America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars The War for Canada...
Pierre Berton's "Flames Across The Border 1813-1814" is the second volume of an immensely readable popular history of the War of 1812.Berton, an accomplished Canadian journalist and historian, writes in a breathless, immediate style wrapped around the personal experiences of leaders, soldiers, and civilians caught up in the conflict.

"Flames Across the Border" keeps a tight focus on the fighting in and around Canada during 1813-1814.Berton's narrative ranges from Fort Michilimackinac on Lake Huron to Lake Erie and Upper Canada, Lake Ontario and the Niagara Peninsula, to Montreal and upstate New York.He digresses only to cover the burning of Washington D.C. in 1814 and the peace negotiations in Ghent, Belgium, that finally ended the war.

Berton's narrative captures the ugliness and appalling waste of a war fought on one side by indifferently trained American militia and on the other by small numbers of British regulars augmented by Canadian militia and Indian allies.The superior British military is preoccupied with the death struggle with Napoleon for Europe, while the US has to build a professional military force under fire.The two sides, lacking resources and senior leadership, are each unable to put together a decisive campaign.The war along the Canadian border ends in bloody stalemate.As Berton's epilogue makes clear, the real losers are the Indian tribes.

"Flames Across the Border" is highly recommended for its even-handed and highly readable treatment of the Canadian portion of a war almost forgotten among American readers.

3-0 out of 5 stars Flames Across the Border
Got tired of reading about one battle after another but it is well written. Learned alot about the War of 1812 that sure wasn't taught in the American History 101 I took in high school or college.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Guide to Other Editions
This book is available in other hardcover and paperback editions at prices far below those which were listed for this title in mid-2008.Search using these ISBN `s:

3-0 out of 5 stars Well-written and thorough, but no "Invasion of Canada"
I feel a little petty saying I was disappointed in Pierre Berton's Flames Across the Border, the second volume in his opus about the vastly underrated (and misnamed) War of 1812. It's just that the first book, The Invasion of Canada, was one of the most interesting and insightful histories I've ever read. Flames, while a well-written and thorough survey of the war in 1813-14, just isn't as thought-provoking or compelling as Invasion.

Together the two books focus on the border war between the United States and Canada (leaving out other large topics such as the naval war in the Atlantic and the Battle of New Orleans). To the British, the war was an annoying sideshow in the larger picture of the Napoleonic Wars. To the Americans, the war was a matter of national honor, a Second American Revolution to determine who would dominate North America. To the Canadians, it was the beginning of their own national identity.

And to the people who lived along the U.S.-Canadian border, it was three years of misery and terror, culminating in a series of incendiary raids that climaxed when the British burned Washington, D.C. in August 1814. With some notable exceptions, the military and political leadership on both sides was stunningly incompetent, and the two sides slugged to a standstill without accomplishing much of anything.

While the historical consequences of the war were enormous, reading the detailed accounts of the battles was depressing rather than edifying. Each battle was different yet mind-numbingly the same.As Berton sums it up: "The two forces resemble equally matched prize fighters, staggering about the ring in the last round, scarcely able to raise their arms in combat."

5-0 out of 5 stars How Americans did not win the war.
"Flames Across the Border" is a very important historical work, for it describes the birth of militarism, expansionism and first appearance of War Hawks within USA government.
Canada has been invaded only once during the history. It was extremely senseless and ad hock invasion. Many farmers, city dwellers lost their homes and thousands of (poor, desperately hoping for being paid) soldiers were killed or terribly maimed. Author pays considerable attention to Great Lakes' Indian tribes and legendary leader Tecumseh. False premises of land grant drugged Indians into this brutal straggle against Long Knives, while bellicose congressmen searched for glory. This fragment presents the utter insensitivity of politicians ordering killings and suffering: " "To give immediate occupation to your troops, and to prevent their blood from stagnating, why not take Fort Erie?" the Secretary (of War John Armstrong) suggested to Major-General Jacob Brown, almost as though he were planning a weekend outing ".
Book contains plenty of maps depicting battlefields and movements of both armies. I read it almost non-stop; especially great is naval battle on Lake Erie. Next fragment succinctly summarizes irony and tragedy of this conflict: "Thousands are dead, more are crippled, hundreds are in prison. In the glowing reports of the opposing commanders, scores of officers have achieved immortality of a sort, their deeds of heroism, zeal, steadfastness, loyalty, leadership, and resolve recorded for all time. But where is the victory? Here (at Fort Erie), as at Chippawa and Lundy's Lane the dead lie mouldering in common graves. To what purpose have they fought? For whose honour have they bled? For what noble principle have they fallen?"
... Read more

6. Berton Pierre : Why We Act Like Canadians: A Personal Exploration of Our National Character.
by Pierre Berton
 Paperback: 132 Pages (1987-05-28)

Isbn: 0140104429
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A personal explanation of our national character!
In a series of open letters to an American friend named Sam, (or to be more precise, "Uncle Sam" as a metaphorical representation of all of our friends south of our Canadian border), Pierre Berton uses colourful examples from our history, our climate, and our geography to explain the vagaries of our national character. In short, he explains to his befuddled American buddy not only what it is to be a Canadian but "why we act like Canadians"!

If there were a position corresponding to "poet laureate" for historians or journalists, it's an odds on bet that Pierre Berton would be the man for Canada. His writing is easy going and emminently readable but at the same time it is scrupulously well researched and complete.

Recommended reading for any Canadian who would like a deeper understanding of the fundamental reasons for our typical behaviours and, in the spirit of fostering a higher degree of friendship and mutual understanding, it ought to be mandatory reading for all students in the USA.

Paul Weiss

4-0 out of 5 stars Why We Act Like Canadians: A Personal Exploration of Our ...
I read this book for a college course and found it to be refreshing. Unlike other books one reads for classes this book had a wealth of information and was interesting. Berton in this book has a conversation with "Sam", known to most as Uncle Sam represents the people of the United States, whom Burton conveys Canadian's feelings and sediment towards Americans in. This conversation is a key feature of the book that I found interesting. I recommend this book to Americans and Canadians alike because of the comparisons Berton makes between the two groups. I think other groups will enjoy this book and find it to be a learning experience as well, but they might get lost in parts that Canadians and Americans might consider common knowledge. ... Read more

7. Pierre Berton's Canada: The Land and the People
by Pierre Berton
Hardcover: 207 Pages (1999-09)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$11.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0773731601
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous tour of Canada's martime geography!
"Canada boasts the longest coastline in the world. If it were straightened out it could wound around the equator three and a half times and there would still be a bit left over." - a fitting topic of immense proportions portrayed by the splendid photography of André Gallant and the always readable prose of Canada's late lamented historian journalist, Pierre Berton accompanied by a series of fascinating archival photographs and drawings from the 18th, 19th and early 20th century.

Unlike most dining room table books that, having been opened at random pages and skimmed, are examined only for the quality of their presentation and the beauty of their photographs, Berton's essays, designed to accompany the photographs and embellish and enrich them as only Pierre Berton can, make this book enjoyable as a stand-alone read from cover to cover. The topics which he has chosen to cover are as widely varied as Canada's maritime geography - the Queen Charlotte Islands, the history and social customs of the Haida, the Potlach people; the demise, over-hunting and myopic mismanagement of the west coast salmon, the arctic bowhead whale and the east coast cod fishery; the absurdly mistaken romantic notions of the life of a lighthouse keeper; a brief history of the search for the elusive Northwest Passage; some stories of the golden age of sail; and a history of Sable Island, the wrecking yard of the Atlantic located in the mouth of the St Lawrence River.

What a wonderful way for any Canadian to take a brief tour of the outer edges of this fascinating country of ours and to dip their toes into that ocean of wisdom that Pierre Berton has provided for interested readers of Canada's history, geography, politics and social life and customs.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

4-0 out of 5 stars Lavish and informative
"Canada: The Land and Its People" is a lavish and informative volume.

Pierre Berton examines Canda's past through the stories of twenty-five diverse historical characters.

Berton also presents thecountry's vast and often stunning geography through the lenses of overthirty Canadian photographers.

Just a few of the excellentpictures/stories include a modern diesel-powered train making its waythrough a Rocky Mountain stretch of track that was first envisioned by19th-century railway pathfinder, Walter Mosberly; the East Block of theParliament Buildings, where Prime Minister John A. MacDonald (a"likeable rogue") had his office in the 1870s; and the rusticthough beautiful Yukon cabin of poet Robert Service.

There are over 125color and b/w photos and illustrations in this mammoth work. ... Read more

8. Prisoners of the North: Portraits of Five Arctic Immortals
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 336 Pages (2006-10-18)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$1.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786718374
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The frozen wilderness of the Far North has long tested the most extreme and reckless of adventurers. In Prisoners of the North, Pierre Berton depicts five extraordinary characters who were in thrall to the Artic's forbidding landscapes: a mining tycoon; an explorer; a titled lady; a backwoods eccentric; and a best-selling poet. Their life stories give us a compelling portrait of the Arctic, long before it was tamed by the bush plane, the snowmobile, and the paved highway.
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Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unknown in America
This book is an interesting collection of biographies about five people who are almost certainly virtually unknown to the vast majority of Americans--which is understandable, since the subjects were either Canadians or folks from the U.K. whose greatest exploits took place in Canada. Most Americans would be hard-pressed to name five cities in Canada, much less five famous Canadian people. Hockey players excepted, perhaps.

The late Berton covers the lives of five people: Joe Boyle, an entrepreneur in the gold rush at the turn of the Nineteenth Century and the so-called "King of the Klondike"; Vilhjamur Steffansson, a talented explorer with some unfortunately misguided theories about the Inuit; Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Sir John Franklin who led the famous and doomed expedition of the "Erebus" and the "Terror" to find the Northwest Passage; the repulsive and possibly insane John Hornby, who kept flirting with disaster and starvation on his forays into the Barren Grounds, Canada's tundra territory, until finally he met his well-deserved fate; and Robert Service, a versifier and balladeer of whom Berton is enormously fond and who he claims, ludicrously, to have possibly been the most famous English-language poet of the Twentieth Century.

In the case of Service, Berton, born in the Yukon in 1920, had a personal connection, having interviewed him for a TV special in 1958 shortly before Service's death. Indeed, Berton had many connections to the Canadian Arctic, as he reveals in many asides.

His premise for this collection is that the lives of these five people became forevermore captured by the Arctic, and that in some ways they left the best parts of themselves there. Only the eccentric and incompetent Hornby actually died in the north, but the others found their fame there, and, with the exception of Lady Franklin, mentally never really left that land in some primal and essential way, no matter where their subsequent journeys took them physically.

The book is copiously illustrated and contains a number of helpful maps. The most gripping section is that dealing with Hornby, since it's the only one that ends in complete and utter tragedy, which always makes for more compelling reading.

Recommended for collectors of books about Arctic explorers or famous Canadians, but probably not of general interest to the average reader.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Portraits of Notable Northern Characters
Pierre Berton an accomplishedand beloved Canadian author presents here five essays on different notable characters that stand tall in the history of Canadian arctic discovery, exploration, exploitation and settlement. The author is a master of arctic history, legend and lore. His most notable works include Klondike Fever and The Arctic Grail. This effort is interesting but falls a bit short of the mastery and command that the author presented in his earlier efforts. It is notable that this work was completed in 2004 which was the last year of the author's life. It is still a worthwhile book to read for those interested in arctic history and the hardy colorful characters thataccomplished early settlement and exploration of the extreme north. It is recommended that if you read this during the winter months sit close to your fireplace or woodstove. ... Read more

9. Drifting Home: A Family's Voyage of Discovery Down the Wild Yukon River
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 176 Pages (2003-03)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$10.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1550549510
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the 1970s, Pierre Berton and his family recreated the trip down the Yukon made by his father, Francis George Berton, in 1898. This compelling story of the later journey is a valentine from son to father, a magical tale of a family adrift, and a poetic exploration of the region's rich history. In experiencing this great wilderness, Berton and his family discover their deep connection to nature - and each other. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Part family history, part family vacation
I loved this book! Pierre Burton takes his large family on a one week canoe trip down the Yukon river.They camp and cook over a campfire, and have a few funny and scary incidents as they float away the days.As he tells a little about each person's unique personality, you can tell how much he loves his family.

But the wonderful part of this book is the history of his own father and childhood.As his family progresses down the Yukon, he recounts his father's young years as an Alaskan miner, trapper, explorer, lovelorn suitor, and eventually family man with a desk job.He recalls fond memories of picnics with his mother, rascally playmates, faithful pets.He and his family explore ghost towns and cabins and places his father lived, and find the abandoned hulls of the mighty riverboats that dominated the Yukon of his youth. This book is more a tribute to his father and an extinct way of life than it is a diary of a family vacation.

He gives us just the right mix of nostalgia, natural beauty and family nonsense to make it a great book.I'll be looking for more of his writings.

5-0 out of 5 stars Berton is a master
There are few writers I would care to know.Many are surly, aloof and unapproachable. But Pierre Berton seems affable, approachable and very smart.I have read almost all of his books and, while I cannot recall the specifics of Drifting Home, it doesn't matter.ANYTHING by Berton is worth reading.He is smart, sharp, witty and as level-headed as they come.He writes beautifully and is a natural story-teller.What also comes across is his fierce pride in, and dedication to, Canada and her provinces.Born in the Yukon Territory, he traveled the world and finally settled in the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario.He wrote for Macleans and other publications, kept and active and lively presence on the radio and TV, and wrote books that celebrated Canadian life.There are few writers who can hold a candle to Berton.I have been enriched by his books.Highly, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Loved It
This book started out as a fun story about a man and his family retracing the path of his father as he came to Dawson to seek his fortune. But it was so much more than that. It was a tribute to his father and all the men and women who sacrificed, worked and suffered in that harsh enviornment. It made me miss my father even more than I do, 27 years after he passed. I highly recommend it. ... Read more

10. The Last Spike (the Great Railway 1881-1885)
by Pierre Berton
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1971-01-01)

Asin: B00412DYHO
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars great read well written re saga of CPR!!
Vast details of the tribulations of developing the CP railway. Interesting reveals re politics and finances, but weak on actual constructionthrough very difficult terrain!! Having riden VIA from Vancouver to Toronto a few years ago I found the few details re terrain very interesting (even if the route was via the old CN!!Fraser River section was done very well as was the Shield area,but would have like more details re the BC section construction.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Line that Joined a Nation
"The Last Spike" chronicles the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), 1881-1885, then the world's longest railway, extending a young Canada westward and consolidating its territories.

Originally published in 1971 by the prolific Canadian historian, the late Pierre Berton, this is a well-researched account of a project now generally overlooked outside Canada. Amply endowed with facts, the book is nonetheless a fluent and gripping read, far removed from the dry and dusty history one might expect of such a topic. Laced with dramatic tension, it details the massive undertaking and paints memorable portraits of the principal characters involved, such as Prime Minister John A. MacDonald, financiers Donald A. Smith and George Stephen, and the inimitable William Cornelius Van Horne, an American-turned-Canadian, general manager of the enterprise.

The author explains the political, economic, and nationalist reasons for building the CPR. The engineering challenges were colossal, the logistics mind-boggling. Harnessing the energies of a domestic, indigenous and multinational workforce the rails advanced -- sometimes fitfully, at other times with impressive, regimented speed. As the track moved west, new towns flourished and the vast prairie -- the grain heartland of modern Canada -- was opened up. The line brought prosperity and tourism to the once-mysterious fastness of the west and made present-day Vancouver possible.

At 1,800 miles long (excluding the eastern network laid down earlier), the line was completed in half the time imposed by the government contract -- including the formidable 500-mile stretch through the Rockies and the Selkirks. Most of the time the venture was on the brink of failure, due to competition and the nervous response of foreign investors to slur campaigns in America and Britain. The necessary capital appeared just in time, thanks largely to the Canadian government's need to quell rebellion in the northwest -- one of the book's highlights and illustrative of the role played by luck in history.

The hardcover edition contains a few maps, but more would have helped. The bibliography is extensive, the index adequate. If you are interested in railways, Canada's history, or have an affinity for large-scale works, this book will reward you. ... Read more

11. Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 496 Pages (1986-09-06)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$79.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771012845
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold
An invaluable resource for all students. As a writer of a fictional account involving the Klondike Gold Rush, it was invaluable to me, as are all of Pierre Berton's works. Only one thing missing, or perhaps not very clear, is timeline - a month or even year when certain episodes happened. A lot of stories go back and forth. But those true stories involving such colorful characters are priceless, and Pierre Berton sure knows how to tell them!

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Berton!
As a Canadian living away from home, I never miss an opportunity to read a book by Pierre Berton.Berton had a talent for making History come alive in a way that is rare not only among Canadian authors, but indeed is rarely equaled and certainly not surpassed by any other author I have encountered abroad.

Klondike is one of those books that is so well constructed and written that you forget you are reading History and instead are absorbed into the story-line as if you were reading a first-rate novel.Burton develops the story-line and characters so that you are drawn into the history and come to appreciate the facts of the era and location.The people become real.You leave having experienced history instead of just having been served warmed over facts with a few theories as to how they tie together.

Despite the difference in genre, reading Burton's account of the Gold Rush in the North is every bit as entertaining as reading Farley Mowat or Jack London.

I recommend this book highly.It is a good introduction to Berton, to the Canadian North, the history of the Yukon, and a good primer before you launch into the other great books of Berton if you have never read him before!

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Northern Lights have seen queer sights . . ."
THE book on the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-99. Berton tells the story in chronological order, beginning with the pre-Gold Rush period when individual prospectors roamed the Yukon River territory looking for El Dorado. A million dollars worth of gold was hauled out of Circle City, an early camp, in 1896; a year later they would do the same in a matter of weeks in Dawson City, a few hundred miles up the Yukon from Circle City. Of course, after the big strike was made on Rabbit Creek in August 1896, Circle City was emptied of its population by the spring. Gold camp communities that had lived and thrived under a well-understood frontier code lost their cohesiveness; the thousands of outsiders rushing into the Klondike could never abide by such a code.

Berton relates the human interest stories, too. The infamous Soapy Smith, the dictator of Skagway, is here, as are the thousands of crazies who came north to the Arctic Circle underclothed, unprepared, unprovisioned, full of the gold fever. Things got so bad by the winter of '97 that the government had to appropriate $200,000 for those in the Yukon to prevent mass starvation. And still they came, heading up the Chilkoot Pass like ants. It was called a stampede, but progress was so slow it seemed anything but. Only the outbreak of the Spanish-American War put an end to it, along with the discovery of gold in Nome.

It's an exciting story, the last gold rush anyone will ever see. Factual, without unnecessary hype, Berton's book is an excellent account of this period in history. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Back in the days when Yukon Gold wasn't a potato
For those of us whose knowledge of the Klondike Gold Rush comes mostly from the 1950s radio drama, "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" this is a fine book to read. (Trivia question: What was the name of Sergeant Preston's preternaturally intelligent huskie?) This is a revised and updated version of the book "Klondike Fever" published in 1958. Read "Klondike" if possible, although the earlier "Klondike Fever" is still perfectly readable. The maps are much better in this edition.

This Gold Rush, named after the Klondike River in the Yukon territory of Canada, was the last great scramble for gold in the old West. One hundred thousand persons, mostly from the U.S., set out for the Klondike in 1897, 30,000 or 40,000 got there, after an arduous journey through killing winter snows, and a few hundred found gold. The stories of the long, hard journey into this Arctic wilderness are often horrific. In one party of 19 men, 15 died or were killed along the route and the other four had eyes damaged by snow blindness. The gold seekers included author Jack London, Wyatt Earp, and poet Joaquin Miller. By late-summer 1899, "one of the weirdest and most useless mass movements in history" was over.Most of the gold seekers went home to live normal lives, although a few moved on to the beaches of Nome, Alaska where gold could be picked up among the grains of sand.

The author tells a compelling tale of the men and women who participated in the Klondike Gold Rush. It was indeed a fever. The characters in this book include crusty old miners who suddenly became rich beyond their wildest dreams, stalwart, incorruptible Canadian Mounties, conmen like Soapy Smith -- who in the dramatic tradition of the West receives his just deserts -- prostitutes, madams, gamblers, angels of mercy, last-chance losers, rich adventurers, Indians, and missionaries. It's a fascinating read, based on research that included interviews with many of the oldtimers who lived to talk to the author in the 1950s. The author's standard of truth telling is high; he identifies a tall tale or an unlikely exaggeration when he finds them.

The text would be enhanced if there were photographs, but I doubt you'll find a better book about the Klondike Gold Rush. Oh, yes, Sergeant Preston's dog was named "Yukon King."


5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
I consider this the definitive book on the Klondike Gold Rush. Interesting, informative, highly entertaining and hugely enjoyable, the book covers all the drama from the first discovery to the last days of the Klondike Kings.You don't have to be a Klondike enthusiast to enjoy this book, because Berton is first and foremost a storyteller, and the historical facts come alive in his writing.

I've read this book at least 9 times, and it inspired me to backpack the Chilkoot Trail.It's not just one of the best history books I've ever read - it's one of the best books, period, that I've ever read.Enjoy! ... Read more

12. Sterling Point Books: Stampede for Gold: The Story of the Klondike Rush
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 180 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$0.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402751214
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Klondike gold rush, which occurred between 1896 and 1899, was one of the strangest outbreaks of “gold fever” ever to take place. With news of California’s rush still fresh in their minds, thousands of men with get-rich-quick dreams hurried to stake out claims in the Yukon. But they did not count on the murderous weather…or the severe mountain passes that protected the gold. Among those who came with high hopes were author Pierre Berton’s parents; here, he presents vividly written, firsthand accounts of the gunfights, con men, avalanches, frostbite, and starvation people endured. It is an amazing and unforgettable true story of superhuman challenges, death-defying adventure, and lifelong friendships.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stampede for Gold: The Story of the Klondike Rush
The book is an authentic and faithhful chronicle of the four "Gold Rush" years (1896-1899). It's not a novel; it's a moving report of eyewitness' stories. While reading this book one may try to imagine the extremes awaiting those men and women determined to get to the treasure. From an over hundred years perspective it is not easy to understand the hardships suffered and efforts required only to get close to their dream. Many never got even close to goldfields; many never returned; only a handful made fortunes.
Before reading this book I perceived Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" only as a comedy. Now I know that if it was ment as a comedy, it was a very bitter one.The Klondike Quest: A Photographic Essay 1897-1899

4-0 out of 5 stars good gold rush info
We wanted a bit more information on the Alaska/Klondike Goldrush after taking an Alaska cruise.This book filled the bill.Just enough to answer the big questions and not enough to put you to sleep. ... Read more

13. Niagara: A History of the Falls (Excelsior Editions)
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 480 Pages (2009-07-08)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$17.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1438429282
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A sweeping history of this natural wonder. Amazon.com Review
Sometimes a place can be as good a subject for a "biography"as a person--and Niagara Falls turns out to be such aplace. Fortunately, it found its ideal biographer in Canadianhistorian Pierre Berton, who chronicles its colorful history with astoryteller's verve. Niagara Falls was a sort of laboratory andbreeding ground for a wide variety of American phenomena: carnivalsand theme parks, destination tourism, industrialization based on cheaphydroelectric power, and the conservation movement, amongothers. Berton weaves all this together in a readable, well-paced bookrich with anecdotes, memorable characters, and nicely craftedlanguage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars History, Time Capsule - a fascinating read
This is the kind of book that can make somoene love history. Yes, it's about Niagara Falls, but it's not a regional book. Because it's a natural phenomenon, Niagara Falls also had an indelible part in the history of mankind in the area, from Native Americans to colonials, through its era as the resort of choice for industrial barons, debate of hydro power vs. aesthetics, displacement of Native Americans, public funds for private gain, through the spawning of significant elements of the environmental movement (Love Canal). This is the first book I've read by the author, but I would read more of Pierre Berton. He captures the essecne of "place", the effect it has on people - and vice versa. The book sorta reminded me of "Devil in the White City" in that it provides a great snapshot into the happenings of the day.

For people who aren't from the area (I lived in NE Ohio), imagine the story of Las Vegas from the time of the Rat Pack up to the opening of the Bellagio. That mirrors our society's changes in taste, entertainment, attitudes about gambling and sex ("what happens here, stays here"), and extravagence. Turn back a few decades, set the stage next to a natural wonder of the world - and you've got this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Niagara Falls
I bought this book for my husband for Christmas.We recently went to Niagara Falls and he was fascinated with the history of the electrical plant and how the falls were made to accomodate it.Great pictures and good historical information- he has enjoyed reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Niagara: From the awe-inspiring to Love Canal
Here's a wonderful history of Niagara Falls in all its splendor and loopiness, from the early explorers and the first tourists, to the artists who've tried to capture its stupendous glory on canvas and the daredevils and just plain crazies who've tempted fate by going over it in a barrel or walking across it on a tightrope. Although it ends on a sour note with the Love Canal environmental disaster of the 1980s, which took place in the city of Niagara Falls, Berton's history is comprehensive and marvelous to read. Whether it's John Roebling building the first great suspension bridge near the falls, Robert Moses trying to swindle the Tuscarora out of their lands for a power plant reservoir, or those who viewed the falls with almost spiritual awe (as Harriet Beecher Stowe did) or saw them with dollar signs flashing before their eyes (too many to mention), Berton's book captures them all. It's extremely well written, with many illustrations to boot.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excelent Read
Books gives a good detail about the long and rich history of the Falls. It was interesting to learn how the formed, were discovered and later developed. The first few chapters were good, as were the chapters regarding the personal stories of those people who challenged and who changed the niagara. The story slows down in the middle a little with the description of the explotation of the falls in the late 1800's to early1900's, but still none the less an excelent look at the history of Niagara Falls.

3-0 out of 5 stars Came for the Daredevils and Got an Education
The subtitle here says it all -- this is truly a history of the Falls, beginning back with the Ice Age, although that pre-history is dispensed with quickly. Berton is an easy, if not compelling read. I learned a whole lot more than necessary about the machinations of the power players in the early hydroelectric industry in Niagara. Amidst all that detail, however, Berton properly highlights the importance of the Falls to industrial development in both the United States and Canada, a fact easily overlooked in the popular image of Niagara. My own Falls memories include being thirteen and reading in 1960 the next day's Buffalo newspapers about the boy who accidentally went over the Falls in his bathing suit and survived, the only person ever to do so. The history Berton draws of the man's life after that miracle made interesting reading, as did the reasons the first person to survive going over in a barrel had for doing so. There is a full panoply here of fools, stoic rescuers (and body retrievers), and shysters, but I found Berton's efforts to be exhaustive sometimes obscured the lure and power that makes Niagara the popular fascination it has always been.That said, I know much more about Niagara than I did before and would recommend this as a quick summer read to anyone with curiosity about this natural, and -- Berton makes clear -- ever-changing wonder. ... Read more

14. The Golden Trail: The Story of the Klondike Rush
by Pierre Berton
Paperback: 144 Pages (2004-12-04)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$4.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 189485604X
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The Golden Trail is the story of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 by one of Canada's best journalists. It was one of several titles esteemed Canadian historians contributed to the Great Stories of Canada series. Pierre Berton tells a gripping tale of unbelievable hardship and superhuman effort. Through story and anecdote, he passionately describes the fever that overcame usually sane men as word got out about the original George Carmack/Robert Henderson discovery; the first frenzied days of the gold rush, when men the world over left their jobs and loved ones in the quest for Yukon gold; the misery of man and beast alike as they struggled up the brutal White and Chilkoot passes; the painstaking, endless, and often thankless exertion required by prospectors as they worked their claims, panning and sluicing for gold; and the fortunes won and lost on the streets and in the saloons of boomtown Dawson City. ... Read more

15. Pierre Berton: A Biography
by Brian Mckillop
Paperback: 808 Pages (2010-09-07)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$14.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771057563
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The first ever biography of one of Canada’s best-known and most colourful personalities by an award-winning author.

From his northern childhood on, it was clear that Pierre Berton (1920—2004) was different from his peers. Over the course of his eighty-four years, he would become the most famous Canadian media figure of his time, in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and books — sometimes all at once. Berton dominated bookstore shelves for almost half a century, winning Governor General’s Awards for Klondike and The Last Spike, among many others, along with a dozen honorary degrees.

Throughout it all, Berton was larger than life: full of verve and ideas, he approached everything he did with passion, humour, and an insatiable curiosity. He loved controversy and being the centre of attention, and provoked national debate on subjects as wide-ranging as religion and marijuana use. A major voice of Canadian nationalism at the dawn of globalization, he made Canadians take interest in their own history and become proud of it. But he had his critics too, and some considered him egocentric and mean-spirited.

Now, with the same meticulous research and storytelling skill that earned him wide critical acclaim for The Spinster and the Prophet, Brian McKillop traces Pierre Berton’s remarkable life, with special emphasis on his early days and his rise to prominence. The result is a comprehensive, vivid portrait of the life and work of one of our most celebrated national figures.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

16. Steel Across the Shield (Adventures in Canadian History Series)
by Pierre Berton
 Mass Market Paperback: 96 Pages (1994-11-05)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771014228
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17. Attack on Montreal (Adventures in Canadian History Series)
by Pierre Berton
 Mass Market Paperback: 75 Pages (1995-11-11)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771014198
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18. The Great Railway
by Pierre Berton
 Paperback: 416 Pages (1992-02-28)
list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$19.97
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Asin: 0771013353
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding drama, an epic journey that shaped Canada and US
I used that book as background before presenting (as an American) to an entirely Canadian audience of professionals.The vision, daring, and epicstruggles of the surveyors rival any Lewis and Clark tale.Well told byexpert story teller and historian Pierre Berton, the building of thetranscontinental railroad and historical impact of the accompanyingpolitics make for riveting reading. It is likely that fewcommericial/enginnering efforts have done so much to change and shape anational identity.Lots of parallels for anyone undertaking the buildingof a business today, as we face the unkowns of technology vs. the unknownsof geography. ... Read more

19. For the Love of History : Winners of the Pierre Berton Award Bring to Life Canada's Past
Paperback: 256 Pages (2005)
-- used & new: US$39.99
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Asin: 0385660898
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20. The Men in Sheepskin Coats (Berton, Pierre, Adventures in Canadian History. Canada Moves West.)
by Pierre Berton
 Mass Market Paperback: Pages (1992-06-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771014384
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Men in Sheepskin Coats
This is yet another fine Adventures in Canadian History bookwritten for children by Pierre Berton.All the books in this seriesare outstanding and captivating not only for young readers but adults alike.This series brings us into an in depth understanding of Canadian History.This volume is memorable for it's tale of the struggles of different people groups as they faced the challenges and joys of opening up the Canadian West, specifically Saskatchewan. The only drawback to this book is we wished it was longer. The stories are fascinating.The historical aspects of this book gave our family a clearer understanding of the people in modern day Saskatchewan. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING! ... Read more

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