Lisa's Reviews > The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream

The Age of Gold by H.W. Brands
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's review
Mar 04, 2008

liked it
Recommended for: History junkies
Read in March, 2008

The Age of Gold is a complete and well written account of arguably one of the most pivotal times in America's history. To me, the essence of this book is eloquently summed up in this paragraph...

"Where life was a gamble and success a matter of stumbling on the right stretch of stream bed, old standards of risk and reward didn't apply. In the goldfields a person was expected to gamble, and to fail, and to gamble again and again, till success finally came - success likely followed by additional failure, and additional gambling - or energy ran out. Where failure was so common, it lost its stigma. No one in California counted the failures, only the rich strikes that rewarded the tenth or hundredth try. The entrepreneurial spirit had never been absent in American history;every immigrant to America was an entrepreneur of sorts. But in the goldfields the entrepreneurial spirit took flight, freed from the inherited fetters of guilt and blame. And once a-wing in the West - the region to which America had always looked for its future - the spirit soared over all the country."

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