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Days of gold : the California Gold Rush and the American nation /
Malcolm J. Rohrbough.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1997.
xv, 353 p., [14] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
0520206223 (alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1997.
0520206223 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 309-346) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Malcolm J. Rohrbough is Professor of History at the University of Iowa and author of Aspen: The History of a Silver-Mining Town, 1879-1893 (1986) and The Trans-Appalachian Frontier: People, Societies and Institutions, 1775-1850 (1990).
Flap Copy
"With this exhaustively researched, elegantly written study, so successful as narrative and as scholarship, Malcolm J. Rohrbough joins Rodman Paul and J. S. Holliday as a master historian of this defining American epic."--Kevin Starr, author of Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915
Flap Copy
"With this exhaustively researched, elegantly written study, so successful as narrative and as scholarship, Malcolm J. Rohrbough joins Rodman Paul and J. S. Holliday as a master historian of this defining American epic."--Kevin Starr, author ofAmericans and the California Dream, 1850-1915
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1997-05-01:
Rohrbough (history, Univ. of Iowa) provides an eyewitness perspective of the Gold Rush from participants' letters and diaries. Similar to J.S. Holliday's The World Rushed In (1983), his work affords a broader base and a stronger synthesis of sources. It discusses the impact of the rush on the 49ers and those they left behind but does not cover the wider political and economic implications. Adding accounts from the many Chilean, Chinese, and Mexican participants would have made this a work of much greater significance. The bibliographic essay in the final chapter is well done. Overall, this is a well-written and intriguing account that will augment many academic and larger public library collections.‘Daniel D. Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib., Kent, Wash. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 1997
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
When gold was discovered in California in 1848, the news caused the greatest mass migration in the history of the Republic. This comprehensive history demonstrates how the Gold Rush touched the lives of families & communities everywhere in the U.S.
Long Description
On the morning of January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold in California. The news spread across the continent, launching hundreds of ships and hitching a thousand prairie schooners filled with adventurers in search of heretofore unimagined wealth. Those who joined the procession--soon called 49ers--included the wealthy and the poor from every state and territory, including slaves brought by their owners. In numbers, they represented the greatest mass migration in the history of the Republic. In this first comprehensive history of the Gold Rush, Malcolm J. Rohrbough demonstrates that in its far-reaching repercussions, it was the most significant event in the first half of the nineteenth century. No other series of events between the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War produced such a vast movement of people; called into question basic values of marriage, family, work, wealth, and leisure; led to so many varied consequences; and left such vivid memories among its participants. Through extensive research in diaries, letters, and other archival sources, Rohrbough uncovers the personal dilemmas and confusion that the Gold Rush brought. His engaging narrative depicts the complexity of human motivation behind the event and reveals the effects of the Gold Rush as it spread outward in ever-widening circles to touch the lives of families and communities everywhere in the United States. For those who joined the 49ers, the decision to go raised questions about marital obligations and family responsibilities. For those men--and women, whose experiences of being left behind have been largely ignored until now--who remained on the farm or in the shop, the absences of tens of thousands of men over a period of years had a profound impact, reshaping a thousand communities across the breadth of the American nation.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
California's Golden Revolution: Enormous Wealth and Great Confusionp. 7
Gold Fever: The Beginningp. 21
"This is a Hard Thing, This Breaking Up of Families": Gold and Its Personal Costsp. 32
Journey and Arrival: Coming to California, Coming to Termsp. 55
Old Bonds and New Allegiances: "Me and John Stick Together Like Wood Ticks"p. 72
The Scarcity of Women: "I Have Not Spoken to a Lady for Five Months"p. 91
"I Could Sell Some of the Furniture": Adjustments in the Eastp. 106
Occupations: The 49ers Begin Workp. 119
"The Real Argonauts of '49": Life and Leisure in the Gold Fieldsp. 135
The Urban 49ers: "A Very Good Chance to Make Money in This City"p. 155
Women in the California Gold Rush: Duty, Adventure, and Opportunityp. 172
Harsh Realities: Hard Luck and Hard Labor in the Gold Fieldsp. 185
"Capitalists Will Take Hold": High-Stakes Investments and Deferred Returnsp. 197
Threats from Within, Threats from Without: Fear, Hostility, and Violence in the Gold Rushp. 216
Waiting: A Permanent Conditionp. 230
Lost Love, Lost Familiesp. 243
The Permanent Lure of Success, the Enduring Shame of Failure: "When a Person Gits to California It Is Hard to Say or Tell When He Gets Away"p. 256
The Ripples Subside: The End of the Gold Rushp. 267
"The Days of Old, the Days of Gold, the Days of Forty-Nine": The Gold Rush and Memoryp. 283
Historians and Sourcesp. 295
Notesp. 309
Indexp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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