From Publishers Weekly
The human history of the Arctic began thousands of years ago, yet little is remembered about the region other than its gold rush. In this sweeping revision of the 1988 text, Professors Coates and Morrison have grounded both the fabulous and mundane aspects of the vast region's history in a broader historical context. Archaeological evidence of prehistoric humans in the Yukon is limited, and thus the book's first chapter is brief. The authors commence their history in earnest with the late-eighteenth century arrival of European explorers and fur traders. Gold was discovered in 1886, but the event that brought the Yukon fame was the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1900. The authors document the harrowing conditions the miners faced, but also the fact that the Klondike rush was not as lawless as the rushes in California or Alaska because of the presence of the Mounted Police. Also covered are the impact of missionaries, the misguided efforts to force First Nations children into Christian boarding schools, the racism that permeated white Yukon society until recently and the construction of the Alaska Highway during World War II. However, the book's emphasis, however, is on the region's post-gold rush political and economic climate, and U.S. readers may not know enough Canadian political history to comprehend the implications of, for example, the failed Meech Lake constitutional accords. However, the book is a thorough history of the Yukon's past 200 years and a worthy addition to the Arctic bookshelf.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the
"Sudden miracles, quick turns of fortune and deeds of endurance, courage, and mind-numbing folly have characterized most of the less-celebrated periods of the Yukon's past. Ken Coates and William Morrison have managed to salvage most of the story. "Land Of The Midnight Sun" provides what every homeland requires: a sense of continuity and warnings and encouragement from the past." The Globe and Mail "Fortunately, we now have the first excellent history of the Yukon - a balanced work that is a model of scholarly precision and popular presentation. No important theme escapes the authors' razor-shape analysis." The Calgary Herald "A must for anyone interested in the Yukon's history from the pre-gold rush days through the 'lean' years and both wars to the present." The Northern Review