The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience

The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience Review

When The World Rushed In was first published in 1981, the Washington Post predicted, “It seems unlikely that anyone will write a more comprehensive book about the Gold Rush.” Twenty years later, no one has emerged to contradict that judgment, and the book has gained recognition as a classic. As the San Francisco Examiner noted, “It is not often that a work of history can be said to supplant every book on the same subject that has gone before it.”

Through the diary and letters of William Swain--augmented by interpolations from more than five hundred other gold seekers and by letters sent to Swain from his wife and brother back home--the complete cycle of the gold rush is recreated: the overland migration of over thirty thousand men, the struggle to “strike it rich” in the mining camps of the Sierra Nevadas, and the return home through the jungles of the Isthmus of Panama.

In a new preface, the author reappraises our continuing fascination with the “gold rush experience” as a defining epoch in western--indeed, American--history.

Title:The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience
Edition Language:English

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    The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience Reviews

  • Gary Inbinder

    J.S Holliday's The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience, is an outstanding historical narrative combining scholarly commentary with the words of the 49’ers gleaned from diaries and c...

  • Kate

    This is deservedly a classic of Gold Rush literature. I picked it up intending to merely skim it for a few facts I was seeking-- wound up reading it eagerly for hours at a time.The diaries and letters...

  • Cooper Cooper

    The World Rushed In, according to PBS “the definitive book on the California Gold Rush,” follows a young Ohio farmer, William Swain, overland across the brutal plains to the Sierra Nevada, stays w...

  • Aaron

    A very thorough, detailed, well-researched book that relies on the diaries of 49ers. Yet, who knew how boring/uneventful traveling by wagon from Missouri to California and mining could be! I guess the...

  • Gawain

    This is a remarkable and well-told account of one man's overland journey from Buffalo, NY to California in search of gold. It is based on his diary, but also integrated with hundreds of other first-ha...

  • Valentin

    The main character is William Swain and he is; religious, dedicated, hard working, motivated, and a family man. He is religious because he carries and reads his bible even though he is far from home. ...

  • Leah Nicole

    The protagonist in J.S. Holliday’s book, The World Rushed In: The California Gold Experience, is William Swain. Swain is a complex and layered character who is described in detail throughout the boo...

  • Carrie Jensen

    I didn't finish this book, but I really appreciate the historical significance. The ambition of the author is to be greatly admired because taking on a project of this breadth is truly daunting. Would...

  • Matt L

    Listened to audiobook. The voiceover wasn't the best....

  • Roy Owen

    Very good book. Human side of the Gold Rush....