A fine introductory social history of the Klondike Gold Rush colorfully outlines the course of events as Alaska became the scene of wild activity and the men who went there ""the richest poor men in the world"". That Mr. Berton knows his territory seems evident from the start. We get a distinct feel of climate and terrain as the narrative moves up and down the Klondike and the Yukon, over the horrors of the Skagway trail and Chilkoot Pass, bringing its gold-happy personnages to the wilderness- to found such boom towns as Dawson and Skagway, Eldorado and Ponanza, and to find the gold ""like cheese in a sandwich between flaky slabs of rock."" The prospectors too from old Siwash George and Robert Henderson, who were the first, on down to the least of the stragglers, are characterized with the same rugged urgency that made their times tumultuous. Though the Klondike Rush has far from gone unnoticed, this is a worthy tie-up of a mad era.