Mining California An Ecological History
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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 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.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $17.00
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 7/25/2006
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
|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|