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This book gathers the riveting stories of adventurous women-miners, madams, merchants, and mothers -- who went North during the gold rush era.
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Claire Rudolf Murphy is the author of two previous novels and several books of nonfiction. She was inspired to write Free Radical while contemplating her own feelings about the Vietnam War and how teenagers view it today. After spending many years in Alaska, Claire and her family now live in Spokane, Washington. This is her first book for Clarion.
Jane G. Haigh began her career as a local historian in Fairbanks, Alaska, which she continues to call home. She is the author of a number of books of popular Alaskan history, including Gold Rush Women, Gold Rush Dogs, and King Con: The Story of Soapy Smith.
Grade 7 Up. When gold was discovered in Alaska's Klondike region, one in ten of the adventurers who stormed the territory was female. Although women were central to the commerce and social life of this rugged frontier, their pioneering roles have been downplayed or ignored for over a century. These 23 short biographies reveal the depth and variety of their experiences. Native women Kate Carmack (Tagish) and Jennie Alexander (Athabaskan) participated in the first discoveries of gold and taught vital survival skills to the white settlers. Sisters Belinda and Margaret Mulrooney established the Dome City Bank. Ethel Berry panned gold by lantern light to become one of the first Klondike millionaires. Lucille Hunter, the first African-American woman in the territory, gave birth to a daughter on the rugged trail to Dawson. These stories of triumph, tragedy, hard work, and hard luck create a vibrant and multilayered picture of early Alaskan and of American society in the 1890s. Lavish use of period pictures helps tell the story, as do boxed insets on subjects from sourdough cooking to Native life. The authors do not gloss over the realities of the time, including the effects of racism, gender roles, and sexual exploitation. Nonetheless, these portraits show what women of the era did accomplish, given the freedom of the frontier and their own abundant determination.?Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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