The Canada–U.S. border was in flames as the War of 1812 continued. York's parliament buildings were on fire, Niagara-on-the-Lake burned to the ground and Buffalo lay in ashes. Even the American capital of Washington, far to the south, was put to the torch. The War of 1812 had become one of the nineteenth century's bloodiest struggles.
Flames Across the Borderis a compelling evocation of war at its most primeval level — the muddy fields, the frozen forests and the ominous waters where men fought and died. Pierre Berton skilfully captures the courage, determination and terror of the universal soldier, giving new dimension and fresh perspective to this early conflict between the two emerging nations of North America.
Pierre Berton was one of Canada’s most popular and prolific authors.From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his fifty books are now Canadian classics.
Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily. He wrote columns for and was editor of Maclean’s magazine, appeared on CBC’s public affairs program “Close-Up” and was a permanent fixture on “Front Page Challenge” for 39 years. He was a columnist and editor for the Toronto Star and was a writer and host of a series of CBC programs.
Pierre Berton received over 30 literary awards including the Governor-General’s Award for Creative Non-Fiction (three times), the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and the Gabrielle Leger National Heritage Award. He received two Nellies for his work in broadcasting, two National Newspaper awards, and the National History Society’s first award for “distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.” For his immense contribution to Canadian literature and history, he was awarded more than a dozen honourary degrees, is a member of the Newsman’s Hall of Fame, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
Pierre Berton passed away in Toronto on November 30, 2004.
"If history could be taught in the schools the way Berton writes about it, there wouldn't be a more popular subject on the curriculum." —The Globe and Mail
"Berton has the storyteller's gift, the novelist's insight, the journalist's easy style and the historian's sense of time…He writes history as it should be written." —Kingston Whig-Standard
"With the vividness of eyewitness reporting, Berton brings us the heroes and heroines of this 'bloody and senseless' conflict, as well as the cowards, the incompetents, and the eccentrics." —Publishers Weekly
"Berton's style is bold, alive and engrossing. We smell the powder, look with horror on ravaged bodies and share the tragedy of those victimized by the conflict." —Hamilton Spectator