Backcountry Ghosts: California Homesteaders and the Making of a Dubious Dream

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Homesteading was a difficult and dangerous business, but at the same time, it opened a large section of the United States to settlers who wanted to take a risk, who faced little chance of advancement at home, and who wanted freedom. This book examines the people who went at establishing homesteads in California in the 1800s through the early 1900s. Most of the focus of the book is on southern California, and toward the latter half, the author begins to work his way up the coast. While he does not cover every homesteader he looks at the people who attempted to make a go of it, claiming government land and working at improving it and proving it up. Many people were often the last sons and daughters of large families, and knew back at home they did not stand much of a chance. Many of them struggled, whether against criminals, crooks, or the rich and powerful. This is an interesting story of how land in California, and in a larger sense the West, has shaped the history and the people of the region. I highly recommend this book.

Reviewed By:

Author Josh Sides
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 248 pages
Publisher Bison Books
Publish Date 2021-Apr-01
ISBN 9781496213211 Buy this Book
Issue August 2021
Category History


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