hard road west history and geology along the gold rush trail

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Hard Road West

Author : Keith Heyer Meldahl
ISBN : 9780226923291
Genre : Science
File Size : 33. 61 MB
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In 1848 news of the discovery of gold in California triggered an enormous wave of emigration toward the Pacific. Lured by the promise of riches, thousands of settlers left behind the forests, rain, and fertile soil of the eastern United States in favor of the rough-hewn lands of the American West. The dramatic terrain they struggled to cross is so familiar to us now that it is hard to imagine how frightening—even godforsaken—its sheer rock faces and barren deserts seemed to our forebears. Hard Road West brings their perspective vividly to life, weaving together the epic overland journey of the covered wagon trains and the compelling story of the landscape they encountered. Taking readers along the 2,000-mile California Trail, Keith Meldahl uses the diaries and letters of the settlers themselves—as well as the countless hours he has spent following the trail—to reveal how the geology and geography of the West directly affected our nation’s westward expansion. He guides us through a corrugated landscape of sawtooth mountains, following the meager streams that served as lifelines through an arid land, all the way to California itself, where colliding tectonic plates created breathtaking scenery and planted the gold that lured travelers west in the first place. “Alternates seamlessly between vivid accounts of the 19th-century journey and lucid explanations of the geological events that shaped the landscape traveled. . . . The reader comes away with both an appreciation for the arduous cross-continental wagon journey and an understanding of the events that created such a vast and difficult landscape.”—Library Journal “[Meldahl] draws on his professional knowledge to explain the geology of the West, showing how centuries of geological activity had a direct effect on the routes taken by the travelers. . . . Meldahl provides a novel account of the largest overland migration since the Crusades.”—Science News

Hard Road West

Author : Keith Heyer Meldahl
ISBN : UOM:39015073644448
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 77 MB
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Drawing on the diaries and letters of the settlers, a close-up look at the two-thousand-mile California Trail follows the gold seekers as they made their way through the rugged land of the West in search of their fortunes, describing the dramatic landscapes they encountered and analyzing the impact of topography and geology on America's westward expansion.

Rough Hewn Land

Author : Keith Heyer Meldahl
ISBN : 9780520275775
Genre : History
File Size : 81. 40 MB
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"Rough-Hewn Land tells the geologic story of the American West--the story of its rocks, rivers, mountains, earthquakes, and mineral wealth, including gold. It tells it by taking you on a 1000-mile-long field trip across the rough side of the continent from the California coast to the Rocky Mountains. This book puts you on the outcrop, geologic hammer in hand, to explore the evidence for how the spectacular, rough-hewn lands of the West came to be. When North America broke free from Eurasia and Africa some 200 million years ago, it triggered a cascade of violent geologic events that shaped the West we see today. As the west-moving continent crunched across the seabed of the ancient Pacific, islands and assorted pieces of ocean floor collected against its prow to build California--and plant gold there too. Meanwhile, mountains squeezed upward from California to Colorado, and vast quantities of molten rock seeded the crust with precious metals while spewing volcanic fire across the land. Later, the land stretched like an accordion to form the washboard-like Basin and Range province and Great Basin within it, while California began to crackle along the San Andreas fault. Throughout the West today, a near-constant drumroll of earthquakes testifies to a world still reshaping itself in response to the ceaseless movements of the Earth's tectonic plates. Rough-Hewn Land weaves these stories into the human history of the West. As we follow the adventures of John C. Frémont, Mark Twain, the Donner party, and other historic characters, we see how geologic forces have shaped human experience, just as they direct the fate of the West today"--

Surf Sand And Stone

Author : Keith Heyer Meldahl
ISBN : 9780520961852
Genre : Science
File Size : 87. 74 MB
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Southern California is sandwiched between two tectonic plates with an ever-shifting boundary. Over the last several million years, movements of these plates have dramatically reshuffled the Earth’s crust to create rugged landscapes and seascapes riven with active faults. Movement along these faults triggers earthquakes and tsunamis, pushes up mountains, and lifts sections of coastline. Over geologic time, beaches come and go, coastal bluffs retreat, and the sea rises and falls. Nothing about Southern California’s coast is stable. Surf, Sand, and Stone tells the scientific story of the Southern California coast: its mountains, islands, beaches, bluffs, surfing waves, earthquakes, and related phenomena. It takes readers from San Diego to Santa Barbara, revealing the evidence for how the coast's features came to be and how they are continually changing. With a compelling narrative and clear illustrations, Surf, Sand, and Stone outlines how the coast will be altered in the future and how we can best prepare for it.

Survival City

Author : Tom Vanderbilt
ISBN : 9780226846958
Genre : History
File Size : 63. 89 MB
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On the road to Survival City, Tom Vanderbilt maps the visible and invisible legacies of the cold war, exhuming the blueprints for the apocalypse we once envisioned and chronicling a time when we all lived at ground zero. In this road trip among ruined missile silos, atomic storage bunkers, and secret test sites, a lost battleground emerges amid the architecture of the 1950s, accompanied by Walter Cotten’s stunning photographs. Survival City looks deep into the national soul, unearthing the dreams and fears that drove us during the latter half of the twentieth century. “A crucial and dazzling book, masterful, and for me at least, intoxicating.”—Dave Eggers “A genuinely engaging book, perhaps because [Vanderbilt] is skillful at conveying his own sense of engagement to the reader.”—Los Angeles Times “A retracing of Dr. Strangelove as ordinary life.”—Greil Marcus, Bookforum

The Great Medicine Road Part 2

Author : Michael L. Tate
ISBN : 9780806153186
Genre : History
File Size : 84. 61 MB
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During the early weeks of 1848, as U.S. congressmen debated the territorial status of California, a Swiss immigrant and an itinerant millwright forever altered the future state’s fate. Building a sawmill for Johann August Sutter, James Wilson Marshall struck gold. The rest may be history, but much of the story of what happened in the following year is told not in history books but in the letters, diaries, journals, and other written recollections of those whom the California gold rush drew west. In this second installment in the projected four-part collection The Great Medicine Road: Narratives of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, the hardy souls who made the arduous trip tell their stories in their own words. Seven individuals’ tales bring to life a long-ago year that enriched some, impoverished others, and forever changed the face of North America. Responding to often misleading promotional literature, adventurers made their way west via different routes. Following the Carson River through the Sierra Nevada, or taking the Lassen Route to the Sacramento Valley, they passed through the Mormon Zion of Great Salt Lake City and traded with and often displaced Native Americans long familiar with the trails. Their accounts detail these encounters, as well as the gritty realities of everyday life on the overland trails. They narrate events, describe the vast and diverse landscapes they pass through, and document a journey as strange and new to them as it is to many readers today. Through these travelers’ diaries and memoirs, readers can relive a critical moment in the remaking of the West—and appreciate what a difference one year can make in the life of a nation.

Forty Niner The Extraordinary Gold Rush Odyssey Of Joseph Goldsborough Bruff American Grit

Author : Ken Lizzio
ISBN : 9781682680513
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 73 MB
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Experience the majesty and terror of the Gold Rush firsthand While the seminal California Gold Rush of 1849 produced numerous firsthand diaries and accounts, Joseph Goldsborough Bruff’s—widely regarded as the best and most accurate—provides the basis of this narrative reimagining of a quintessential American legend. Ken Lizzio traces the pioneer’s thrilling adventure from the first rumors of gold, through his crossing of the frontier, all the way to his incredible survival and escape to a prosperous life back east. This is the first book to create a narrative of Bruff’s journey from his meticulously written and preserved diary. And with more than fifty of Bruff’s original pencil sketches and paintings, Forty-Niner provides a new, immersive vision of one of America’s most fabled eras. The American Grit series brings you true tales of endurance, survival, and ingenuity from the annals of American history. These books focus on the trials of remarkable individuals with an emphasis on rich primary source material and artwork.

The Offshore Imperative

Author : Tyler Priest
ISBN : 9781603441568
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 21. 50 MB
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After World War II, the discovery and production of onshore oil in the United States faced decline. As a result, offshore prospects in the Gulf of Mexico took on new strategic value. Shell Oil Company pioneered many of the early moves offshore and continues to lead the way into “deepwater.” Tyler Priest’s study is the first time the modern history of Shell Oil has been told in any detail. Drawing on interviews with Shell retirees and many other sources, Priest relates how the imagination, talent, and hard work of personnel at all levels shaped the evolution of the company. The narrative also covers important aspects of Shell Oil’s corporate evolution, but the company’s pioneering steps into the deepwater fields of the Gulf of Mexico are its signature achievement. Priest’s study demonstrates that engineers did not suddenly create methods for finding and producing oil and gas from astounding water depths. Rather, they built on a half-century of accumulated knowledge and improvements to technical systems. Shell Oil’s story is unique, but it also illuminates the modern history of the petroleum industry. As Priest demonstrates, this company’s experiences offer a starting point for examining the understudied topics of strategic decision-making, scientific research, management of technology, and corporate organization and culture within modern oil companies, as well as how these activities applied to offshore development. “. . . tells a dramatic story of imaginative businessmen and engineers who propelled Shell forward in the search for ways to locate and recover oil from the depths of the sea.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly “This book’s narrative is sustained throughout by easily understood explanations of the technical details of drilling and production.”—Journal of Southern History

A Pocket History Of Sex In The Twentieth Century

Author : Jane Vandenburgh
ISBN : 9781582439815
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 65. 44 MB
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A true story of 1950s California, teenage rebellion, and a family torn apart by illicit desire: “Intense, controlled, a memoir-as-fever-dream” (The New York Times). Born into “a certain kind of family”—affluent, white, Protestant—Jane Vandenburgh came of age when the sexual revolution was sweeping the cultural landscape, making its mark in a way that would change our manners and mores forever. What began as an all-American life went spectacularly awry. Her father, an architect with a prominent Los Angeles firm, was repeatedly arrested in police raids on gay bars. Ultimately placed in a psychiatric hospital to be “cured” of his homosexuality, he committed suicide when she was nine. Her mother—an artist and freethinker—lost custody of her children when she was committed to a mental hospital. The author and her two brothers were then raised by an aunt and uncle who had seven children and problems of their own. In the midst of private trauma and loss, Vandenburgh delights in revealing larger truths about American culture and her life within it. Quirky, witty, and uncannily wise, A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century is a brilliant blend of memoir and cultural commentary full of hard-won insights that explode across the page “like a string of Chinese firecrackers” (Washington Post).

Bodie S Gold

Author : Marguerite Sprague
ISBN : 087417628X
Genre : History
File Size : 25. 13 MB
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The Bodie Mining District was established in 1860. The boom ended just twenty years later and the mining ended with World War II. What remained of the town became a state park in 1964. With numerous historic photographs and the reminiscences of former residents, this book offers an interesting account of life in a Gold Rush boomtown.

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