Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush

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2000-02-01 Hardcover New New, We ship one business day with tracking number. We do not ship to CANADA, GU, PR, Hawaii and Alaska.

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New York, NY 2000 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 464 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Gift Quality. Pristine Condition ... Brand New. Fast Arrival. Packaged and Shipped in bubble wrap. Pristine condition. Please leave us positive feedback. Thanks! Free USPS Tracking. Read more Show Less

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New York, NY 2000 Hard Cover First Edition, First Pinting Collectible-New in New jacket First Edition, First Pinting BRAND NEW & Collectible. Socfio-cultural dynamics of the ... California Gold Rush. Historian Susan Lee Johnson reveals a period marked by multicultural relations with the bringing together of Mexicans, French, Chinese, African-Americans, Chileans and Miwok Indians all panning for gold alongside their WASP counterparts in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Cultural collisons generated both humor and ugly crimes. Absence of women folk raised gender issues in ways that further fed into the already complex struggles for ethnic and cultural hegemony (such as tendencies to feminize Chinese laundry men and French cooks). Author reminds us in the Epilogue, happenings and social complexities of 150 years ago during the Gold Rush are not unlike those of our own era of "concentrated human diversity and congealed human inequity." Read more Show Less

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Overview

The world of the California Gold Rush that comes down to us through fiction and film is one of half-truths. In this brilliant work of social history, Susan Johnson enters the well-worked diggings of Gold Rush history and strikes a rich lode.

Johnson explores the dynamic social world created by the Gold Rush in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Stockton, charting the surprising ways in which the conventions of identity -- ethnic, national, and sexual -- were reshaped. With a keen eye for character and story, she shows us how this peculiar world evolved over time, and how our cultural memory of the Gold Rush took root.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The California Gold Rush is commonly identified with the peculiarly American movement of Manifest Destiny, but as Johnson reveals in this informative study of the period, the Gold Rush was in fact one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural events of the 19th century. Mexicans, French, Chinese, African-Americans, Chileans and Miwok Indians all panned for gold alongside their WASP counterparts in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. The collision of these cultures sometimes led to humorous misunderstandings (as when Chinese miners mirthfully watched a white colleague struggle to use chopsticks), but just as frequently it produced ugly crimes, like when Mexican prospector Joaquin Murrieta was assaulted and evicted from his mining claim by jealous whites. Complicating relations in the mines was the almost complete absence of women; Johnson shows how men of all races found themselves reassessing gender roles in ways that had everything to do with ethnicity and cultural hegemony. For example, Anglo miners tended to feminize Chinese and French men, who made their fortunes in laundry and cooking as often as in mining gold. Johnson skillfully investigates the ramifications of these social pressures, though at times she surrenders to the ivory tower habit of interpreting the interpretations, analyzing the discourse about events instead of the events themselves. Hers is an intensely academic brand of social history: readers will find phrases like "homosocial," "gendered meanings" and "constructions of race" liberally sprinkled throughout the text. Underneath the jargon, however, is a valuable study of the complex, often troubled societies that contributed to one of America's great national mythologies. 15 photos, 1 map. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393048124
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Lee Johnson is professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 9
Preface 11
Prologue: Joaquin Murrieta and the Bandits 25
Part I Rush
Chapter 1 On the Eve of Emigration 57
Part II Boom
Chapter 2 Domestic Life in the Diggings 99
Chapter 3 Bulls, Bears, and Dancing Boys 141
Chapter 4 Mining Gold and Making War 185
Part III Bust
Chapter 5 Dreams That Died 237
Chapter 6 The Last Fandango 275
Epilogue: Telling Tales 315
Notes 345
Selected Bibliography 425
Index 449
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2000

    a rather stiff historic treatment much in the style of encyclopedic and text book works

    Ms.Johnson's painstaking account takes her readers on a journey through an epic of the 'manifest destiny' era. But the ride is rigid and lacks the narrative skills of such historians as Devoto, Lavender, Stone, Ambrose, etc. Not a 'page turner' by any means

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