"With this exhaustively researched, elegantly written study, so successful as narrative and as scholarship, Malcolm J. Rohrbough joins Rodman Paul and J. S. Holliday as a master historian of this defining American epic."Kevin Starr, author of Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915
Rohrbough (history, Univ. of Iowa) provides an eyewitness perspective of the Gold Rush from participants' letters and diaries. Similar to J.S. Holliday's The World Rushed In (1983), his work affords a broader base and a stronger synthesis of sources. It discusses the impact of the rush on the 49ers and those they left behind but does not cover the wider political and economic implications. Adding accounts from the many Chilean, Chinese, and Mexican participants would have made this a work of much greater significance. The bibliographic essay in the final chapter is well done. Overall, this is a well-written and intriguing account that will augment many academic and larger public library collections.Daniel D. Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib., Kent, Wash.