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John Sutter and a Wider West by Kenneth N. Owens


John Sutter and a Wider West by Kenneth N. Owens

This volume begins with John Sutter's own account of his life and the discovery of gold at his sawmill in 1848. Leading historians Howard R. Lamar, Albert L. Hurtado, Iris H. W. Engstrand, Richard W. White, and Patricia Nelson Limerick then demythologize Sutter while giving him a more secure place in western history.


This admirably balanced, succinct, and polished book concedes only that Sutter was 'the last and most dramatic of a familiar type of frontier entrepreneur who helped develop North America.
Moreover, it was a type that fulfilled its ultimate destiny by failing: succumbing economically to the impact of settlement

. Yet the book also suggests that with an airing of the full facts, Sutter is freed from the tedium of his one-dimensional legend and restored to full humanity as a vital and fascinating individual. -Times Literary Supplement * Times Literary Supplement * These five essays are well written, lively in their images, and valuable as fresh (even politically correct) interpretations of the familiar, weary tale of Sutter, a man too long glorified at the expense of our knowing and appreciating some of his contemporaries. -California History * California History *

About the Author

Kenneth N. Owens is a professor emeritus of history at California State University, Sacramento. He is the editor of Riches for All: The California Gold Rush and the World and The Wreck of the Sv. Nikolai, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st November 2002


Kenneth N. Owens

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University of Nebraska Press


138 pages


History of the Americas
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
Biography: historical, political & military
Social & cultural history



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