Synopses & Reviews
Western History. While the last 150 of California History, from the gold rush to the present, have been well researched and described in hundreds of books, the previous three centuries--from the first explorations of Baja California in 1533 to the Mexican-American War of 1846--are either ignored entirely or distorted by myth. LANDS OF PROMISE AND DESPAIR is a copious collection of reminiscences, reports, letters, and documents mostly by residents of early California, from the viewpoint of people who made their homes in it. This ambitious and accessible book, with maps, paintings, sketches, and early photographs, is sure to become a cornerstone in the study of California history.