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The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush

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The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush Cover

ISBN13: 9780307461735
ISBN10: 0307461734
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It is the last decade of the 19th century. The Wild West has been tamed and its fierce, independent and often violent larger-than-life figures – gun-toting wanderers, trappers, prospectors, Indian fighters, cowboys, and lawmen –are now victims of their own success. They are heroes who’ve outlived their usefulness.

But then gold is discovered in Alaska and the adjacent Canadian Klondike and a new frontier suddenly looms - an immense unexplored territory filled with frozen waterways, dark spruce forests, and towering mountains capped by glistening layers of snow and ice.

“Klondicitis,” a giddy mix of greed and lust for adventure, ignites a stampede. Fleeing the depths of a worldwide economic depression and driven by starry-eyed visions of vast wealth, tens of thousands rush northward.

Joining this throng of greenhorns and grifters, whores and highwaymen, sourdoughs and seers are three unforgettable men. In a true-life tale that rivets from the first page, we meet Charlie Siringo, a top-hand sharp-shooting cowboy who, after futilely trying to settle down with his new bride, becomes one of the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s shrewdest; George Carmack, a California-born American Marine who’s adopted by an Indian tribe, raises a family with a Taglish squaw, makes the discovery that starts off the Yukon Gold Rush – and becomes fabulously rich; and Soapy Smith, a sly and inventive predator-conman who rules a vast criminal empire.

As we follow this trio’s lives, we’re led inexorably into a perplexing mystery. A fortune in gold bars has somehow been stolen from the fortress-like Treadwell Mine in Juneau, Alaska, with no clues as to how the thieves made off with such an immensely heavy cargo.  To many it appears that the crime will never be solved.  But the Pinkerton Agency has a reputation for finding the answers that elude others.  Charged with getting the job done is Charlie Siringo who discovers that, to run the thieves to ground, he must embark on a rugged cross-territory odyssey that will lead him across frigid waters and through a frozen wilderness.  Ultimately, he’ll have his quarry in his sights. But then an additional challenge will present itself.  He must face down Soapy Smith and his gang of 300 cutthroats.  Hanging in the balance: George Carmack’s fortune in gold.

At once a compelling true-life mystery and an unforgettable portrait of a time in America’s history when thousands were fired with a vision of riches so unimaginable as to be worth any price, The Floor of Heaven is also an exhilarating tribute to the courage and undaunted spirit of the men and women who helped shape America.

 

About the Author

HOWARD BLUM is the author of the New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award winner American Lightning, as well as such bestsellers as Wanted!, The Gold Exodus, and Gangland. He is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. While at the New York Times, he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Jerry Banks, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Jerry Banks)
A true story that reads like a novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
HistoryWriter, July 13, 2012 (view all comments by HistoryWriter)
Why would you read more than one (or two, or three) books on the same subject? Because various authors of nonfiction bring another perspective or find a different facet of the story to bring to life. This book is more than another volume about the Yukon Gold Rush. It's a tale of the old west, telling the reader the life stories of three men: prospector George Carmack, ex-cowboy and Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo, and conman and gang leader Jefferson "Soapy" Smith. Howard Blum tells the wild west tales of their lives and how the three intersect during the gold rush. It's history AND it's an action adventure story; a real "page turner."
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307461735
Author:
Blum, Howard
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.16 x 0.89 in 0.7 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
History and Social Science » Americana » Alaska
History and Social Science » Americana » Frontier Life
History and Social Science » Americana » Gold Rush and Prospecting
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » World History » Canada
History and Social Science » World History » General

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