Johnson, William Weber
Time-Life Books, New York, 1974
Review by: Susan

This is the great true story about the huge California gold rush in 1849. Young men, calling themselves the forty-niners (the name coming from the year the gold rush began) went to El Dorado to seek fortunes. This very detailed book includes true stories on how the gold rush began, where it was, and how people went about seeking the gold. With real pictures, newspaper articles, and illustrations from the gold rush, you can get a clear idea of how people went on their quests to find treasures, and what it was like. "In 1949 the East was electrified by the news that across the continent, on land newly wrested from Mexico, golden nuggets were lying around loose on the ground. Abandoning farms and apprenticeships, deserting their families and fiancees, the Argonauts swarmed West by the thousands." People would sacrifice everything they had--even if it wasn't that much--just to find gold in California, hoping to strike it rich. "In California, they heard, a man could take a fortune out of the hills and streams with little more equipment than a shovel, a tin pan and a wooden, box-like contraption called a cradle."

I personally thought this book was very fascinating, and I was impressed with it's extreme detail and excellent visual aides to help you understand the incredible story about the forty-niners. Although at some times difficult to understand as a teenager, the pictures and diagrams of equipment and maps helped me to interpret the information better. If you are a person that would enjoy any kind of adventurous and historic story, you would definitely like this one.
Star Rating (Out of Four):starstarstarstar

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