Niagara: A History of the Falls by Pierre Berton, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Niagara: A History of the Falls

Niagara: A History of the Falls

by Pierre Berton
     
 

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A sweeping history of this natural wonder, from its geological beginnings to the present.

"The noble cataract reflects the concerns, failings, and fancies of the times. If we gaze deeply into its shimmering image we can perhaps discern our own." - page 22

“[Pierre Berton] makes a serious and convincing case for Niagara's pivotal role in North

Overview

A sweeping history of this natural wonder, from its geological beginnings to the present.

"The noble cataract reflects the concerns, failings, and fancies of the times. If we gaze deeply into its shimmering image we can perhaps discern our own." - page 22

“[Pierre Berton] makes a serious and convincing case for Niagara's pivotal role in North American history. ... His Niagara is a lodestar for North American culture and invention: site of the first railway suspension bridge, inspiration for Nikola Tesla's discovery of the principle of alternating current, and the subject of Frederic Church's most celebrated landscape; a natural wonder that has bewitched generations of scientists, authors, and utopians, and stimulated innovations and social movements still casting long shadows. ... surprising, rich and engrossing.” — Thurston Clarke, New York Times Book Review

“Canadian historian Berton tells dozens of absorbing tales about the region and those who passed through it ... He tells them all superbly, aided by essential maps and a few reproductions of posters advertising some of the more bizarre stunts.” — Publishers Weekly

“Entertaining. . . . Berton brings to life the adventurers and dreamers, visionaries and industrialists, who over centuries have been drawn to the Falls.” — Maclean’s

"Berton at his storytelling best; there is something here for everyone. ... a vintage, full-bodied read." — The London Free Press

"A book worth diving into." — Calgary Herald

"By turns ironic, amused, shocked, horrified and awestruck, Berton traces Niagara's history through the deeds of those who came in contact with it ... all the while walking the fine line between detachment and emotion with agility and grace." — The Whig-Standard (Kingston)

Pierre Berton was one of Canada’s most popular and prolific authors, and is widely credited with popularizing Canadian history. His previous books include The Wild Frontier, Prisoners of the North, Klondike, The Invasion of Canada, and The Great Depression.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first Europeans to see Niagara Falls were struck with an awe akin to terror, but with the passage of a couple of centuries the site came to be regarded as the ultimate symbol of God's creative power. Even Charles Dickens, who didn't think much of what he found on this side of the Atlantic, was deeply moved. In the 19th century, the American side of the falls became a Mecca for honeymooners, first luring the rich and then the middle class as well. Later in that century, the unparalleled opportunity for hydroelectric power, combined with the development of alternating current, which meant that electricity could be sent over long distances, brought a wealth of industrial development. Canadian historian Berton (The Wild Frontier) tells dozens of absorbing tales about the region and those who passed through it: the "funambulist" Blondin, who danced on a tightrope high above the chasm; John Roebling, better known for the Brooklyn Bridge than for the one he built to span the Niagara River; the adventurers and crackpots who went over the falls in barrels; the lengthy struggle to close the Love Canal toxic waste dump. He tells them all superbly, aided by essential maps and a few reproductions of posters advertising some of the more bizarre stunts. (Jan.)
Thurston Clarke
Rich and engrossing...makes a serious and convincing case for Niagara's pivotal role in North American history. -- Thurston Clarke, The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
“Entertaining. . . . Berton brings to life the adventurers and dreamers, visionaries and industrialists, who over centuries have been drawn to the Falls.” — Maclean’s

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781438429281
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
07/08/2009
Series:
Excelsior Editions
Pages:
481
Sales rank:
739,529
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography: Pierre Berton, Canada’s most popular historian and a member of the Newsman’s Hall of Fame, was born in the Yukon and educated at UBC. He has received three Governor General’s Awards, two Nellies, two National Newspaper Awards, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and an award from the National History Society. He holds twelve honorary degrees and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Pierre Berton, Canada’s most popular historian and a member of the Newsman’s Hall of Fame, was born in the Yukon and educated at UBC. He has received three Governor General’s Awards, two Nellies, two National Newspaper Awards, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and an award from the National History Society. He holds twelve honorary degrees and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

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