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Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike Paperback – August 23, 2011

46 customer reviews

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Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike + The Klondike Gold Rush: Photographs from 1896-1899 + The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

CHARLOTTE GRAY, one of Canada's pre-eminent biographers, has won many awards for her writing, including the 2002 UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the CAA Birks Family Foundation Award for Biography. She has received the prestigious Pierre Berton Award for a body of historical writing. She is the Chair of the National History Society. Visit her atwww.charlottegray.ca.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582437653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582437651
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Robert Francis on August 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Gold Diggers is really three books in one: a short primer on the Klondike, a book about business and the economy, and a story about how far some are willing to go in pursuit of their dreams.

As a primer on the Klondike, it offers a fascinating account of the last great gold rush in world history. Gray writes in a descriptive and evocative style, with a focus on a diverse set of characters and their intriguing personal journeys to the North.

The story is also a kind of microcosm of the business world -- showing how economies quickly grow, flourish, and suddenly collapse, all as a consequence of the ebb and flow of information. It's also a story about how cunning entrepreneurs build businesses that become monopolies, which eventually fold or get bought out by larger entities, in the perennial flow of big capital and the more complicated politics of empire.

But more than anything, the book testifies to the strength of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming odds. We see this in the formidable journey that prospectors endured from the Alaskan coast, through the Yukon interior, to Dawson city -- a journey over treacherous mountain passes, violent river rapids, and countless miles of trail in the freezing cold. We also see it in the conditions suffered during winter on the creeks, where temperatures would dip as low as sixty or seventy below zero, food was scarce, and daylight hours few.

Often character here is destiny, with cunning or determination making all the difference in how things turn out. But just as often, it isn't. So, while many become rich or famous at the end of it, many more come away empty-handed or broken-hearted, or die somewhere along the way, frozen and alone in the wilderness.

Gold Diggers is a moving and illuminating story, both historically unique and universal. It holds many riches in store, just waiting to be discovered.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Tabz on May 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is such a great chronicle of the various Klondike gold rushes that it definitely stands together with some of the great books that have been written about the Klondike/Yukon experience. The information abut Jack London and his role in making the myths of the Yukon is just indispensable. If you think you know something about Jack London and how he did in the Klondike, I think you will be surprised by what Ms Gray digs up about London and his time in the Klondike.

The other characters, and their adventures, fairly jump off the page, with their bravado and spirit as real as a chilly Klondike breeze. The idea of a place so free and wild captures the imagination, and Ms. Gray manages to paint these word pictures with a freshness and vividness that you can really feel. The feeling of adventure and "gold fever" leaps from Ms Gray's pages. It is truly a funny and fun read, which is difficult to accomplish in what is essentially a history book.

So read this one if you want to know why people went there and what they found. I guarantee you will go away with an admiration and respect for these brave souls that you will remember long after you have finished this incredible book!!!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Grace Sherwood on November 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This wonderfully told tale will transport you to the Yukon's Dawson City and the Klondike gold rush to see it the way it really was. Gray weaves the well-researched stories of her characters, real people, into a fascinating and historically accurate account of this legendary gold rush. There is no glossing over the raw side of this far northern boomtown with gold seekers, prostitutes, priests, and canny business people enduring physical demands beyond imagining as they confront raging rivers, bitter cold, mud, and privation in their search for riches. I heartily recommend this book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was in Alaska and just had to get this and read about where I was at the time. It was very detailed and gave you a pretty good idea of what it was like. It also fired up my thirst for gold. It sounds so easy to go somewhere and just "pick up" the gold from a river, but the truth is so far from that.

Towards the end of the book, it just seemed that everything had been covered already. I was ready for it to end, but I didn't stop the process, I finished the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always had a vague idea as to what the Klondike gold rush was all about. Ms Gray provides a comprehensive overview of what it was like to be there in the late 19th century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RS on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish I had been here to live this era. I read everything I can about Alaska, the Klondike and all subsequent 's. Very well done and very glad I purchase it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine M Lowe on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
if you are interested in history of the Klondike this book gives the best details on the life in such a rugged part of history. great book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had a history prof in college who was loved and respected by all who were lucky enough to get in his class. He didn't want to screw up any body's gpa, so he frequently cancelled semester finals. His respect was not based on being a softie. No, this man made his mark because he KNEW history. He'd insert into every lecture a nugget of a human interest; something that had no meaning in the "big picture" but made it a lot more interesting and fun to read. Charlotte Gray does the same thing, showing the Big Picture of how the Klondike affected both Canada and the US, but as well the human profile. The shrewdness of Belinda Montgomery, the hardships of even successful miners like Bill Haskell, the driven almost obsessed vision of Sam Steele. Excellent read
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