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Mining California An Ecological History

ISBN-10: 0809069326
ISBN-13: 9780809069323
Edition: N/A
List price: $17.00 Buy it from $9.05
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Description: An environmental History of California during the Gold Rush Between 1849 and 1874 almost $1 billion in gold was mined in California. With little available capital or labor, here's how: high-pressure water cannons washed hillsides into sluices that  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 7/25/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.902
Language: English

An environmental History of California during the Gold Rush Between 1849 and 1874 almost $1 billion in gold was mined in California. With little available capital or labor, here's how: high-pressure water cannons washed hillsides into sluices that used mercury to trap gold but let the soil wash away; eventually more than three times the amount of earth moved to make way for the Panama Canal entered California's rivers, leaving behind twenty tons of mercury every mile-- rivers overflowed their banks and valleys were flooded, the land poisoned. In the rush to wealth, the same chain of foreseeable consequences reduced California's forests and grasslands. Not since William Cronon' s" Nature's Metropolis" has a historian so skillfully applied John Muir's insight-- " When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe" -- to the telling of the history of the American West. Beautifully told, this is western environmental history at its finest.

Introduction: The Political Economy of California Industrialization
The Nature of Industry
The Alchemy of Hydraulic Mining: Technology, Law, and Resource-Intensive Industrialization
Banking on Sacramento: Urban Development, Flood Control, and Political Legitimization
Capitalizing on Nature: Innovation and Production in the Redwood Forests
The Industrial Frontier
Gambling on the Grassland: Kinship, Capital, and Ecology in Southern California
The Enclosure of the Plateau: Land and Labor in the High Lake Country
Epilogue: Economic Development and the California Environment
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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