Download e-book for kindle: American Alchemy: The California Gold Rush and Middle-Class by Brian Roberts

By Brian Roberts

California throughout the gold rush used to be a spot of disputed claims, shoot-outs, playing halls, and prostitution; a spot populated by means of that tough and rebellious determine, the forty-niner; briefly, a spot that turns out totally unconnected to middle-class tradition. In American Alchemy, although, Brian Roberts bargains a stunning problem to this assumption.

Roberts issues to a long-neglected fact of the gold rush: a few of the northeastern forty-niners who ventured westward have been in reality middle-class in foundation, prestige, and values. Tracing the reports and adventures either one of those males and of the "unseen" forty-niners--women who stayed again East whereas their husbands went out West--he indicates that, no matter what else the gold seekers deserted at the highway to California, they didn't easily flip their backs on middle-class culture.

Ultimately, Roberts argues, the tale informed the following unearths an neglected bankruptcy within the background of the formation of the center type. whereas the purchase of respectability displays one level during this historical past, he says, the gold rush constitutes a moment stage--a uprising opposed to criteria of respectability.

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American Alchemy: The California Gold Rush and Middle-Class Culture (Cultural Studies of the United States) by Brian Roberts


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