"The Indians hold Niagara claims its yearly meed of victims. It may be so. Or does Niagara thus avenge itself on the civilization that has trimmed and tamed its forests and dressed it up in tinsel-coloured lights?" - Lady Mary McDowel; Duffus Hardy, Sketches of an American Tour, 1881
In the beginning was the ice.
In spite of mankind's follies and nature's ravages, in spite of scientific intrusion and unexpected catastrophe, in spite of human ambition and catchpenny artifice, the great cataract remains what it has always been, and in the true sense of the word, Sublime.
Sometimes a place can be as good a subject for a "biography" as a person--and Niagara Falls turns out to be such a place. Fortunately, it found its ideal biographer in Canadian historian Pierre Berton, who chronicles its colorful history with a storyteller's verve. Niagara Falls was a sort of laboratory and breeding ground for a wide variety of American phenomena: carnivals and theme parks, destination tourism, industrialization based on cheap hydroelectric power, and the conservation movement, among others. Berton weaves all this together in a readable, well-paced book rich with anecdotes, memorable characters, and nicely crafted language.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:58 -0400)