Mining Frontiers of the Far West, 1848-1880

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The California Gold Rush was only the first of a series of rushes that brought the first permanent settlers to much of the Far West between 1848 and 1880. Despite a flood of popular writings on separate mining regions, this book is the first to view the entire movement as an integral part of the settlement process. The author displays a thorough knowledge of all aspects of western mining: geology, technology, and economics, as well as history. His emphasis is not on bad men and vigilantes but on the ingenious contrivers of new techniques and machinery, the hardheaded capitalists who subsidized the development of the most promising mines, the builders of the transportation routes needed to link mining camps with markets. A long-needed book, rising far above the usual superficial romantic nonsense that surrounds the subject. --Virginia Quarterly With a fresh, penetrating approach, Paul strips away the glamor and views the mining frontiers not only in their bearing on national development, but also in terms of their interrelationship with each other. --American Historical Review