- Title: They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush
- Author: JoAnn Levy
- ISBN: 9780806124735
- Page: 198
- Format: Paperback
The phrase seeing the elephant symbolized for 49 gold rushers the exotic, the mythical, the once in a lifetime adventure, unequaled anywhere else but in the journey to the promised land of fortune California Most western myths generally depict an exclusively male gold rush Levy s book debunks that myth Here a variety of women travel, work, and write their way The phrase seeing the elephant symbolized for 49 gold rushers the exotic, the mythical, the once in a lifetime adventure, unequaled anywhere else but in the journey to the promised land of fortune California Most western myths generally depict an exclusively male gold rush Levy s book debunks that myth Here a variety of women travel, work, and write their way across the pages of western migrant history Choice One of the best and most comprehensive accounts of gold rush life to date San Francisco Chronicle
Recent Comments "They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush"
I admittedly did not finish the book all the way through. It was assigned reading for my California History course, and we had our discussion on it before I finished the novel. However, I will say that I really enjoyed the layout of the book and how Levy lets the women's accounts speak for themselves, only adding her commentary when needed. That is not as common in historical works and made it much more interesting in my opinion. Levy is also able to tell a full and complete story of the Gold Ru [...]
Historians are now delving into the writings of women in American history. Women filled journals, diaries, and wrote letters to home, as well as being written about! The missing population in American HIstory studies is starting to show up, and it makes the study of history more 3 dimensional. The addition of the writings of African American women, puts a whole new slant on the history of the Gold Rush one that is heartbreaking and shameful. This aspect is crucial to understanding the build up t [...]
They Saw the Elephant is a well written and documented book about women who went to California during the Gold Rush era. It give names, where they left from and where they went, it tells routes and what the trips were like. Traveling at that period of time was dangerous and perilous. This is a good description of California in both cities and rural (mining camps)areas. Anyone who has an interest in either California, gold rush or womens' history would benefit reading this well written book.
Fascinating look at women in the Gold Rushrprisingly uplifting accounts of adventure and daring. You usually only hear of hardships and struggles, but I enjoyed the journal entries of women who enjoyed the journey.
I remember really liking this book back when I read it in 8th grade. I was going through a bit of a non-fiction kick, having just read The Transformation of Cinema, 1907-1915 that somehow shook my 12-year-old world to the core on all the history they neglected to teach us. I remember thinking it was a bit dry but fascinating; we learn about the gold rush in California at school in such a superficial way that learning about how women specifically navigated the wild west really brought it alive fo [...]
History from the perspective of a variety of women in the California Gold Rush.
When Levy first began to do research, some numbers just didn't add up. Men who wrote about the California Gold Rush of 1849 were quick to say that those racing to the gold fields were almost all exclusively male, but statistics and the historical record do not bear that out. Levy kept looking, thinking that someone, somewhere, had to have written a history of the women of the Gold Rush, and although she found books about Australians, Chileans, blacks, Irish, French, and other national and ethnic [...]
I learned some interesting things about the women of the gold rush, so that makes this book worth reading. I found the format confusing in that it was put together by topic rather than character. It's nonfiction that's easy to read but, in my opinion, didn't build the relationships it could have with the reader. Characters were sprinkled throughout the subjects--traveling to California, creating a home, building a business, etc. If it wouldn't have been a pick from my book club, I don't think I [...]
Another great book in the tapestry of history. The book did an excellent job, since the contents covered travels to the gold rush regions in California, as well as the activities in the CA. The author makes extensive use of diaries to weave the tales. The activities of CA are described along with complementary activities in the areas from which the gold rush travelers departed from.As usual, there are extensive references for those looking to add more information. Brief biographical descriptions [...]
Exhaustively researched, but cobbled together snippets from letters and journals. "Popcorn for the historian" because of its irresistible but piecemeal quality. Probably unavoidable given all the sources and such a big subject. Great bibliography. Now I want to read a more cohesive book by the author.
There is a lot of interesting information in the book, but I felt that the format and presentation were less than ideal. Little snippets from journals and letters, bits of a story in one place or another. Worth reading if, like me, you are seeking out everything you can find on the role of women and children in the settling of the West. Otherwise, there are better books on the topic.
A very interesting read with first hand accounts of women as they mostly traveled over land through harsh conditions to get to California and what they found there.I loved reading the diary entries of these women.
A very informative and easy read. Recommended for leisure reading as well as for class.
This was an Excellent book. JoAnn Levy clears up a lot of misconceptions of what life was (or wasn't) like for women in the gold rush. I could not put it down.
The topic was fascinating. The book failed to draw me in as it was just a collection of news clippings, public records, letters, and diaries. I lost interest and never finished it.
This book was super interesting but I could only read it in little spurts. I might pick it up again from the library when I am working on my Mormon California Pioneer Story.
Wonderful, one of the best Gold Rush reads. It from the women's perspective of the Gold Rush, but encompasses all aspects of the era. Really great book if you're a history buff.
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