Robert Cherny, San Fransisco State University
"Far from the fields of battle, California and Californians nonetheless played critical roles in the coming, fighting, and meaning of the Civil War. This fine book reminds us that distance did not mean the same thing as unimportance. Glenna Matthews offers an entirely fresh vantage from which to see the war and its myriad legacies."
William Deverell, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
"This impressive contribution to California and Civil War history interweaves in compelling prose the complex and conflicted story of the Golden State's emergence as a fully pledged loyal state in the midst of a terrible war. Matthews’s insightful and colorful volume highlights the many surprising ways that California contributed to the success of the Union Cause, despite a divided citizenry whose actions at times reflected a boldly pro-Confederate position."
Joan Waugh, University of California, Los Angeles
"The book is a worthwhile addition; her writing flows smoothly from chapter to chapter. While she focuses on Mr King, she does not ignore other areas of interest."
Kevin Winter, San Francisco Book Review
"… it can't be denied that in The Golden State in the Civil War we have the first truly worthwhile scholarly overview of the Civil War contributions and experiences of Californians. It is fervently hoped that Matthews's work will inspire others, as much remains to be done."
Civil War Books
"… Glenna Matthews has written a fine addition to the literature on California during the Civil War. Her attention to the issue of racial diversity in California during the Civil War is significant, and her highlighting of the role of Thomas Starr King adds an important dimension to our understanding of the state's Civil War politics."
John P. Lloyd, H-Net Reviews (h-net.org/reviews)
"Matthews’s re-telling of a familiar story in an unfamiliar place greatly enhances our understanding of the Civil War as a nationwide conflict that remade the West alongside the North and the South."
Stacey L. Smith, Journal of American History