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Other titles in the Cultural Studies of the United States series:

American Alchemy : the California Gold Rush and Middle-class Culture (00 Edition)

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American Alchemy : the California Gold Rush and Middle-class Culture (00 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

California during the gold rush was a place of disputed claims, shoot-outs, gambling halls, and prostitution; a place populated by that rough and rebellious figure, the forty-niner; in short, a place that seems utterly unconnected to middle-class culture. In American Alchemy, however, Brian Roberts offers a surprising challenge to this assumption.

Roberts points to a long-neglected truth of the gold rush: many of the northeastern forty-niners who ventured westward were in fact middle-class in origin, status, and values. Tracing the experiences and adventures both of these men and of the "unseen" forty-niners—women who stayed back East while their husbands went out West—he shows that, whatever else the gold seekers abandoned on the road to California, they did not simply turn their backs on middle-class culture.

Ultimately, Roberts argues, the story told here reveals an overlooked chapter in the history of the formation of the middle class. While the acquisition of respectability reflects one stage in this history, he says, the gold rush constitutes a second stage—a rebellion against standards of respectability.

Synopsis:

A colorful investigation of the California Gold Rush that overturns the myth of the rebellious Forty-niner and reveals the middle-class values and origins of those who travelled west to seek adventure and fortune.

About the Author

Brian Roberts is assistant professor of history at California State University in Sacramento.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chapter 1. California Gold and Filthy Lucre

Chapter 2. Gold Fever as a Cure

Chapter 3. Husbands and Wives

Chapter 4. Numberless Highways to Fairy Grottos

Chapter 5. A Great and Perverse Paradise

Chapter 6. California Is a Humbug

Chapter 7. Widows and Helpmates

Chapter 8. A Wild, Free, Disorderly, Grotesque Society

Chapter 9. The Prude Fails

Chapter 10. The End of the Flush Times

Conclusion

Notes

Index

A section of illustrations follows.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807848562
Author:
Roberts, Brian
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Location:
Chapel Hill :
Subject:
California
Subject:
United States - 19th Century/Old West
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
Social conditions
Subject:
Pioneers
Subject:
Middle class
Subject:
Northeastern states
Subject:
Gold discoveries
Subject:
United States - State & Local - General
Subject:
California gold rush; standards of respectability; northeastern; middle class; forty-niners; industrialization; market revolution; class formation; gender; utopian; adventure literature; clerks; artisans; women; reformers; Eliza Farnham
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.)
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life -- California.
Subject:
California Gold Rush
Subject:
standards of respectability
Subject:
northeastern
Subject:
forty-niners
Subject:
Industrialization
Subject:
market revolution
Subject:
class formation
Subject:
Gender.
Subject:
utopian
Subject:
adventure literature
Subject:
Clerks
Subject:
Artisans
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Reformers
Subject:
Eliza Farnham
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Cultural Studies of the United States Paperback
Series Volume:
1422-3F
Publication Date:
May 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
9.25 x 5.75 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

American Alchemy : the California Gold Rush and Middle-class Culture (00 Edition) New Trade Paper
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$32.50 In Stock
Product details 360 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807848562 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A colorful investigation of the California Gold Rush that overturns the myth of the rebellious Forty-niner and reveals the middle-class values and origins of those who travelled west to seek adventure and fortune.
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