Gold Diggers

Gold Diggers

Striking It Rich in the Klondike

Book - 2010
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Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of over thirty thousand people. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.

Scurvy, dysentery, frostbite, and starvation stalked all who dared to be in Dawson. And yet the possibilities attracted people from all walks of life--not only prospectors but also newspapermen, bankers, prostitutes, priests, and lawmen. Gold Diggers follows six stampeders--Bill Haskell, a farm boy who hungered for striking gold; Father Judge, a Jesuit priest who aimed to save souls and lives; Belinda Mulrooney, a twenty-four-year-old who became the richest businesswoman in town; Flora Shaw, a journalist who transformed the town's governance; Sam Steele, the officer who finally established order in the lawless town; and most famously Jack London, who left without gold, but with the stories that would make him a legend.

Drawing on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles, and stories, Charlotte Gray delivers an enthralling tale of the gold madness that swept through a continent and changed a landscape and its people forever.
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2010
ISBN: 9781582436111
1582436118
Characteristics: xiii, 413 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm

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j
John_M
Nov 12, 2015

Charlotte Gray brought to life the brief explosion of activity around the Klondike gold fields focusing on the stories of 6 or so individuals who crossed paths in the Klondike. I recommend this book but cannot compare it to Pierre Burton's book about the Klondike.

rb3221 Jul 16, 2015

Gray's very readable book is a well researched and a well written story about the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897-98. She highlights six characters with their stories interwoven throughout the book. It is a rich and full picture including the hardships and trials of these six characters, including the beloved Jesuit priest William Judge and the tough win-at-all-costs entrepreneur Belinda Mulrooney.
All of the details make the book very informative and vivid like the diet of bread, beans and bacon for 6 months every year, the stench of human sewage and the Dawson dirt roads ("mud as thick as gumbo")

m
MT60
Feb 09, 2015

Checked this out after seeing documentary on PBS(?), in which Charlotte Gray was one of the talking heads. Both my wife and I read it. Long book but keeps pulling you along.

BPLNextBestAdults Jun 07, 2012

I was very excited to read Gold Diggers because Gray’s previous non-fiction, Sister’s in the Wilderness is one of my favourite books.
This historical biography has retraced the steps that thousands of gold seekers made during the 1897-1899 Yukon Gold Rush. Through her extensive travels and detailed research, she revisits the events of this time with fascinating detail. You will relive the excitement, hardships and struggles of the six main characters as they cross paths while seeking their fortunes in the land of the midnight sun. Full of historical detail, it draws you in like a novel while providing you with a colourful piece of Canadian history.

m
muhrich
Oct 15, 2011

Worth a read - Gray makes history come alive. Full of interesting details of how people lived in those times - grueling life - amazing that people would actually attempt the horrendous travel - oh the power of hope that you will get a strike! Two interesting women who went in their late 40s - one as a reporter and one who saw opportunity to set up hotel and restaurant. Strong women they were who made it in a"man's" world.

d
dundasvalleymom
Dec 21, 2010

This is a fascinating exploration of the life and times of the people who endured the Klondike goldrush.

It was hard to put down and mesmerizing in it's details. Highly informative for those thirsting for knowledge/exploration of the modern world and how it came to be. Shows just how very modern our common comfortable lifestyle/travel is.

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