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The Arctic Grail

by Pierre Berton

Scores of nineteenth-century expeditions battled savage cold, relentless ice and winter darkness in pursuit of two great prizes: the quest for the elusive Passage linking the Atlantic and the Pacific and the international race to reach the North Pole. Pierre Berton's #1 best-selling book brings to life the great explorers: the pious and ambitious Edward Parry, the flawed hero John Franklin, ruthless Robert Peary and the cool Norwegian Roald Amundsen. He also credits the Inuit, whose tracking and hunting skills saved the lives of the adventurers and their men countless times. These quests are peopled with remarkable figures full of passion and eccentricity. They include Charles Hall, an obscure printer who abandoned family and business to head to a frozen world of which he knew nothing; John Ross, whose naval career ended when he spotted a range of mountains that didn't exist; Frederick Cook, who faked reaching the North Pole; and Jane Franklin, who forced an expensive search for her missing husband upon a reluctant British government. Pierre Berton, who won his first Governor General's award for The Mysterious North, here again gives us an important and fascinating history that reads like a novel as he examines the historic events of the golden age of Arctic exploration.

Flames Across the Border: 1813-1814

by Pierre Berton

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.

The Great Depression

by Pierre Berton

Over 1.5 million Canadians were on relief, one in five was a public dependant, and 70,000 young men travelled like hoboes. Ordinary citizens were rioting in the streets, but their demonstrations met with indifference, and dissidents were jailed. Canada emerged from the Great Depression a different nation.The most searing decade in Canada's history began with the stock market crash of 1929 and ended with the Second World War. With formidable story-telling powers, Berton reconstructs its engrossing events vividly: the Regina Riot, the Great Birth Control Trial, the black blizzards of the dust bowl and the rise of Social Credit. The extraordinary cast of characters includes Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who praised Hitler and Mussolini but thought Winston Churchill "one of the most dangerous men I have ever known"; Maurice Duplessis, who padlocked the homes of private citizens for their political opinions; and Tim Buck, the Communist leader who narrowly escaped murder in Kingston Penitentiary.In this #1 best-selling book, Berton proves that Canada's political leaders failed to take the bold steps necessary to deal with the mass unemployment, drought and despair. A child of the era, he writes passionately of people starving in the midst of plenty.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Invasion of Canada

by Pierre Berton

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.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Klondike

by Pierre Berton

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.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885

by Pierre Berton

In the four years between 1881 and 1885, Canada was forged into one nation by the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Last Spike reconstructs the incredible story of how some 2,000 miles of steel crossed the continent in just five years -- exactly half the time stipulated in the contract. Pierre Berton recreates the adventures that were part of this vast undertaking: the railway on the brink of bankruptcy, with one hour between it and ruin; the extraordinary land boom of Winnipeg in 1881-1882; and the epic tale of how William Van Horne rushed 3,000 soldiers over a half-finished railway to quell the Riel Rebellion.Dominating the whole saga are the men who made it all possible -- a host of astonishing characters: Van Horne, the powerhouse behind the vision of a transcontinental railroad; Rogers, the eccentric surveyor; Onderdonk, the cool New Yorker; Stephen, the most emotional of businessmen; Father Lacombe, the black-robed voyageur; Sam Steele, of the North West Mounted Police; Gabriel Dumont, the Prince of the Prairies; more than 7,000 Chinese workers, toiling and dying in the canyons of the Fraser Valley; and many more -- land sharks, construction geniuses, politicians, and entrepreneurs -- all of whom played a role in the founding of the new Canada west of Ontario.From the Trade Paperback edition.

My Country: The Remarkable Past

by Pierre Berton

Berton brings Canada's past alive with true stories of mystery and romance, tragedy and heroism, from the piracy of Bill Johnston, scourge of the St. Lawrence, to the weird saga of Brother XII and his mystic cult on Vancouver Island.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881

by Pierre Berton

In 1871, a tiny nation, just four years old -- it's population well below the 4 million mark -- determined that it would build the world's longest railroad across empty country, much of it unexplored. This decision -- bold to the point of recklessness -- was to change the lives of every man, woman and child in Canada and alter the shape of the nation.Using primary sources -- diaries, letters, unpublished manuscripts, public documents and newspapers -- Pierre Berton has reconstructed the incredible decade of the 1870s, when Canadians of every stripe -- contractors, politicians, financiers, surveyors, workingmen, journalists and entrepreneurs -- fought for the railway, or against it.The National Dream is above all else the story of people. It is the story of George McMullen, the brash young promoter who tried to blackmail the Prime Minister; of Marcus Smith, the crusty surveyor, so suspicious of authority he thought the Governor General was speculating in railway lands; of Sanford Fleming, the great engineer who invented Standard Time but who couldn't make up his mind about the best route for the railway. All these figures, and dozens more, including the political leaders of the era, come to life with all their human ambitions and failings.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Niagara: A History of the Falls

by Pierre Berton

Full of heroes and villains, eccentrics and daredevils, scientists, and power brokers, Niagara has a contemporary resonance: how a great natural wonder created both the industrial heartland of southern Ontario and the worst pollution on the continent.

Pierre Berton's War of 1812

by Pierre Berton

To commemorate the bi-centenary of the War of 1812, Anchor Canada brings together Pierre Berton's two groundbreaking books on the subject. The Invasion of Canada is a remarkable account of the war's first year and theevents 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. 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-- 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.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Prisoners of the North

by Pierre Berton

Canada's master storyteller returns to the North to chronicle the extraordinary stories of five inspiring and controversial characters.Canada's master storyteller returns to the North to bring history to life. Prisoners of the North tells the extraordinary stories of five inspiring and controversial characters whose adventures in Canada's frozen wilderness are no less fascinating today than they were a hundred years ago.We meet Joseph Boyle, the self-made millionaire gold prospector from Woodstock, Ontario, who went off to the Great War with the word "Yukon" inscribed on his shoulder straps, and solid-gold maple-leaf lapel badges. There he survived several scrapes with rogue Bolsheviks, earned the admiration of Trotsky, saved Romania from the advancing Germans, and entered into a passionate affair with its queen.We meet Vilhjalmur Steffansson, who knew every corner of the Canadian North better than any explorer. His claim to have discovered a tribe of "Blond Eskimos" brought him world-wide attention and landed him in controversy that would dog him the rest of his life.There is John Hornby, the eccentric public-school Englishman so enthralled with the Barren Grounds where he lived that he finally starved to death there with the two young men who had joined his adventures.Berton gives us a riveting account of the contradictory life of Robert Service -- a world-famous poet whose self-effacement was completely at odds with his public persona.And we meet the extraordinary Lady Jane Franklin, who belied every last stereotype about Victorian women with her immense determination, energy, and sense of adventure. She travelled more widely than even her famous explorer husband, Sir John. And her indefatigable efforts to find him after his disappearance were legendary.A Yukoner himself, Berton weaves these tales of courage, fortitude, and reckless lust for adventure with a love for Canada's harsh north. With his sharp eye for detail and faultless ear for a good story, Pierre Berton shows once again why he is Canada's favourite historian.From the Hardcover edition.

The Promised Land: Settling the West, 1896-1914

by Pierre Berton

After the pioneers described in The National Dream, The Last Spike and Klondike came the settlers -- a million people who filled a thousand miles of prairie in a single generation.

The Smug Minority

by Pierre Berton

Written in 1968, this book discusses the problems of the Canadian poor of that era.

Smug Minority

by Pierre Berton

"The march of social progress is like a long and straggling parade, with the seers and prophets at its head anda smug minority brining up the rear..."

Vimy

by Pierre Berton

One chill Easter dawn in 1917, a blizzard blowing in their faces, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps in France went over the top of a muddy scarp knows as Vimy Ridge. Within hours, they held in their grasp what had eluded both British and French armies in over two years of fighting: they had seized the best-defended German bastion on the Western Front.How could an army of civilians from a nation with no military tradition secure the first enduring victory in thirty-two months of warfare with only 10,000 casualties, when the French had lost 150,000 men in their unsuccessful attempt? Pierre Berton's haunting and lucid narrative shows how, unfettered by military rules, civilians used daring and common sense to overcome obstacles that had eluded the professionals.Drawing on unpublished personal accounts and interviews, Berton brings home what it was like for the young men, some no more than sixteen years old, who clawed their way up the sodden, shell-torn slopes in a struggle they innocently believed would make war obsolete. He tells of the soldiers who endured horrific conditions to secure this great victory, painting a vivid picture of trench warfare. In his account of this great battle, Pierre Berton brilliantly illuminated the moment of tragedy and greatness that marked Canada's emergence as a nation.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Wild Frontier

by Pierre Berton

Canada's wild frontier -- a land unsettled and unknown, a land of appalling obstacles and haunting beauty -- comes to life through seven remarkable individuals, including John Jewitt, the young British seaman who became a slave to the Nootka Indians; Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, the eccentric missionary; Sam Steele, the most famous of all Mounted Policemen; and Isaac Jorges, the 17th-century priest who courted martyrdom. Many of the stories of these figures read like the wildest of fiction: Cariboo Cameron, who, after striking it rich in B. C. , pickled his wife's body in alcohol and gave her three funerals; Mina Hubbard, the young widow who trekked across the unexplored heart of Labrador as an act of revenge; and Almighty Voice, the renegade Cree, who was the key figure in the last battle between white men and Aboriginals in North America. Spanning more than two centuries and four thousand miles, this book demonstrates how our frontier resembles no other and how for better and for worse it has shaped our distinctive sense of Canada.

The Wild Frontier: More Tales from the Remarkable Past

by Pierre Berton

Canada's wild frontier -- a land unsettled and unknown, a land of appalling obstacles and haunting beauty -- comes to life through seven remarkable individuals, including John Jewitt, the young British seaman who became a slave to the Nootka Indians; Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, the eccentric missionary; Sam Steele, the most famous of all Mounted Policemen; and Isaac Jorges, the 17th-century priest who courted martyrdom. Many of the stories of these figures read like the wildest of fiction: Cariboo Cameron, who, after striking it rich in B. C. , pickled his wife's body in alcohol and gave her three funerals; Mina Hubbard, the young widow who trekked across the unexplored heart of Labrador as an act of revenge; and Almighty Voice, the renegade Cree, who was the key figure in the last battle between white men and Aboriginals in North America. Spanning more than two centuries and four thousand miles, this book demonstrates how our frontier resembles no other and how for better and for worse it has shaped our distinctive sense of Canada.

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