The Age of Gold

  • by H.W. Brands
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 17 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill on the American River, it completely transformed the territory of California. Hundreds of thousands of people sped to California by any means possible, and small cities sprung up to service their needs as they sought the precious metal. By 1850, California had become a state; it had also become a symbol of where the nation was going. Great fortunes were made by such memorable figures as John Fremont, Leland Stanford, and George Hearst; great fortunes were lost by those who are now along history's wayside. The Gold Rush had a profound effect on the way Americans viewed their destinies, as the new get-rich-quick ethos prevailed over the old Puritan mores of hard work. H.W. Brands' masterful narrative discloses the whole story.


What the Critics Say

"With solid research and a sprightly narrative, Brands's portrait of the gold rush is an enlightening analysis of a transformative period for California and America." (Publishers Weekly)
"Brands writes history as the art of storytelling that enthralls and informs the reader. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"An important work of history." (Booklist)
"Exuberant....Entertaining, lively....Brands [is] a wonderfully skilled narrative historian." (Los Angeles Times)
"An engrossing, multifaceted history." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very Enjoyable

I'm now about a third of the way through "The Age of Gold" and I'm hooked. It's a very interesting social history of the gold rush, and has certainly managed to increase yet further my interest in this period of history.

HW Brands shares the stories of a diverse range of people affected by the rush, and explains how they became united by the discovery of gold in California.

I was enthralled by the original testimonies of many of the gold hunters. Brands frequently quotes diaries and letters and these have given me a much deeper insight into the period - although I had known that the trip to California was far from easy, I've been shocked at quite how bad it was at times!

I would certainly recommend this to anyone with even a passing interest in the gold rush, or American history, society and culture. In my opinion, it's a fascinating story of a fascinating time and the only reason I haven't given it five stars is because this is my first Audible download, and so I don't yet have other books to which to compare it!
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- Claire

Engrossing and informative

Again, the author brings history to life! A gripping telling of the stories behind the historical period.
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- Robert

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-11-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape