While the Klondike Gold Rush is one of the most widely known events in Canadian history, particularly outside Canada, the rest of the Yukon's long and diverse history attracts little attention. Important developments such as Herschel Island whaling, pre-1900 fur trading, the post-World War II resource boom, a lengthy struggle for responsible government, and the emergence of Aboriginal political protest remain poorly understood.
Placing well-known historical episodes within the broader sweep of the past, Land of the Midnight Sun gives particular emphasis to the role of First Nations people and the lengthy struggle of Yukoners to find their place within Confederation. This broader story incorporates the introduction of mammoth dredges that scoured the Klondike creeks, the impressive Elsa-Keno Hill silver mines, the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal children, the devastation caused by the sinking of the Princess Sophia, the Yukon's remarkable contributions to the national World War I effort, and the sweeping transformations associated with the American occupation during World War II.
Completely revised with a new epilogue, the bestselling Land of the Midnight Sun was first published in 1988 and became the standard source for understanding the history of the Yukon. Ken Coates and William Morrison have published ten books together, including Strange Things Done: A History of Murder in the Yukon and the forthcoming Trailmarkers: A History of Landmark Aboriginal Rights Cases in Canada. Land of the Midnight Sun was their first collaboration.