Precious Dust: The Saga of the Western Gold Rushes

Overview


The boom era began with the discovery of gold in California in 1848 and extended over fifty years to include the rushes in the Pikes Peak region in Colorado, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Alder Gulch in Montana, and the Yukon. Precious Dust humanizes the mad rush to these remote places.
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Overview


The boom era began with the discovery of gold in California in 1848 and extended over fifty years to include the rushes in the Pikes Peak region in Colorado, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Alder Gulch in Montana, and the Yukon. Precious Dust humanizes the mad rush to these remote places.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post

"Marks is a gifted writer and an industrious researcher with an eye for telling detail. . . . The result is far and away our best social history of the gold rush experience as well as, in its very strangeness, an American portrait." —Washington Post
New York Times Book Review

"In a remarkable way the story of the gold rush era adds up to a uniquely American experience. It is an incredible tale of peril, misfortune, luck, determination, back-breaking labor, personal bravery, high adventure, and the amassing of fortunes in ‘precious dust’ for a relative few."—New York Times Book Review
San Francisco Chronicle

"Marks’s engrossing saga describes this grand late nineteenth-century treasure hunt as one of our history’s epic dramas, capturing the essence of America’s headlong rush toward a modern, industrial society."—San Francisco Chronicle
Booklist

"An absorbing cultural, sociological, and historical chronicle of a pivotal epoch that both reaffirmed and redefined the American way of life."—Booklist
Washington Post

"Marks is a gifted writer and an industrious researcher with an eye for telling detail. . . . The result is far and away our best social history of the gold rush experience as well as, in its very strangeness, an American portrait." —Washington Post

Booklist

"An absorbing cultural, sociological, and historical chronicle of a pivotal epoch that both reaffirmed and redefined the American way of life."—Booklist

San Francisco Chronicle

"Marks’s engrossing saga describes this grand late nineteenth-century treasure hunt as one of our history’s epic dramas, capturing the essence of America’s headlong rush toward a modern, industrial society."—San Francisco Chronicle

New York Times Book Review

"In a remarkable way the story of the gold rush era adds up to a uniquely American experience. It is an incredible tale of peril, misfortune, luck, determination, back-breaking labor, personal bravery, high adventure, and the amassing of fortunes in ‘precious dust’ for a relative few."—New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803282476
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author


Paula Mitchell Marks’s books include And Die in the West: The Story of the O.K. Corral Gunfight. She teaches history at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 13
1 "The Age of Gold" 21
2 Overland to California 53
3 Sea Travels and California Wanderings 83
4 One Daunting Trail After Another 105
5 Bound for the Far North 125
6 Life in the Diggings 151
7 "Cities of the Magic Lantern" 185
8 Self, Society, and the "Battle of Life" 223
9 "No Law but Miners' Law" 247
10 Natives and Strangers 279
11 Home Ties 309
12 Gender and Gold 337
13 Perspectives 367
Notes 381
Selected Bibliography 425
Index 437
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