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"This is truly an important addition to the scholarship of the California Gold Rush. Unlike other accounts, Richard Stillson examines the Gold Rush from the beginning, analyzing the information systems utilized by the 49ers to make decisions as they moved west. Spreading the Word is a case study of information and communications mechanisms in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century, and as such is a new and vital contribution in American social, cultural, and even technological history."
—Robert Phelps, Associate Professor of History, California State University, East Bay