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Contested Eden California Before the Gold Rush
ISBN 0520212746 / 9780520212749 / 0-520-21274-6Find This Book
As the first of a projected four-volume collection that will portray the complete history of California, Contested Eden contains a dozen essays ranging from prehistory to 1848. Because it is often common to think of California's history as beginning with the Gold Rush, this text provides a welcome look at the rich background of the most populous state. It is sure to be of interest both to academic and novice historians. Contested Eden begins with an examination of California's natural history, and proceeds in a roughly chronological fashion through the Indian settlements, the conquest by Spain, the incursions of Russian traders, the settlers who came overland from the United States, and the role of California in the war between the U.S. and Mexico. Other essays tackle themes such as cultural conflicts and gender roles. On occasion the writing lapses into academic jargon, but for the most part the pieces are lucid and highly informative. [via]