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The Trail of 1858: British Columbia's Gold Rush Past Paperback – 9 Jan 2008
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About the Author
Mark Forsythe is the long-standing host of CBC Radio One's BC Almanac and co-author of The BC Almanac Book of Greatest British Columbians. Raised in Toronto, Forsythe moved to BC in the mid-seventies and has come to know the province well through broadcasting assignments in Smithers, Prince George, Prince Rupert, the Okanagan and Vancouver.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 2 reviews
One person found this helpful.
The Further Use of History as Propaganda
on 18 June 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
"The Trail of 1858" seems like a good book on the outside, speaking to people's pride in British Columbian history. After all, the preface mentions that 2008 marks B.C's 150th anniversary "as a modern political state". So yes, it has an agenda. But overall, I think the historical facts are organized in such a way that it becomes historically inaccurate. If you examine closely, it contains very simple characters and narrative structure that reflect our political attitudes of today: James Douglas, the super good protagonist (even though there were some accounts of him physically hurting First Nations people...but shhh...); the United States (with her Manifest Destiny), the antagonist (like always); and coloured/non-Anglo Saxon immigrants, the helpers/static characters whom British Columbian society had to 'tolerate'. Of course, the land that B.C. occupied becomes a sort of haven or refuge for people fleeing from the US and perhaps, other 'hostile' places. This book is another one of those that promotes today's 'multiculturalism', a policy that (ahem) originally only supported bilingualism (English/French) in Canada in the early 1970s. If you want a history book that does not feel much guilt as to what happened in the past and seeks to entertain its audience a lot, I'd say go for it. If you want a more accurate historical representation of BC's Gold Rush, I'd suggest you save your money's worth. Well at least, even if you're a total history buff or major, this book gives you an opportunity to rant and complain as to why, after so many years of racial discrimination, some writings would avoid being 'politically incorrect' at the cost of silencing those who had suffered tremendous pain and hardship in B.C. history.
Informed and informative as it is engaging and entertaining.
on 5 January 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
Mark Forsythe is the long-standing host of CBC Radio One's 'BC Alamanc'. Greg Dickson was a journalist and producer at CBC radio and television for more than twenty years. Together they have collaborated to write "The Trail Of 1858: British Columbia's Gold Rush Past. In what was to become British Columbia, the non-aboriginal population was only about 700 in 1858 when gold was discovered along the shores of the Fraser River. Almost overnight some 30,000 prospectors (mostly American) descended upon the landscape and treated the territory as an extension of the United States. The colonial administration in Victoria was overwhelmed and the future of the area as a British possession was in doubt. But by the time the gold rush petered out about a decade after it had begun, the colony of British Columbia had come into existence and its destiny as a province of Canada was assured. "The Trail Of 1858" is the fascinating story of those turbulent times and showcases the personalities and issues through the use of period photography, anecdotal stories, and narratives drawn from fact and memory. The result is a very highly recommended book of Canadian history that is as informed and informative as it is engaging and entertaining.