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Up and Down California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H. Brewer, Fourth Edition, with Maps 4th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
One reviewer said that even those who are not Californians will enjoy this book. True enough, but I think that the reader who has a detailed knowledge of the geography of the state will come away from Up And Down California In 1860-1864 with a much greater appreciation for Brewer's accomplishments. I know California very well, and as I read along, I could picture nearly every place Brewer described in my mind's eye because I had been at those places myself.
This book is a riveting and thoroughly absorbing glimpse of the California that was. Brewer's style is informative, entertaining, and not bogged down by political correctness. He calls things as he sees them and gives the reader not only a physical description of his journeys with all their pleasures and hardships, but also a good look at the way people lived and rubbed along with one another in what was then a brave new world. His journeys covered most of the state save the Mojave/Colorado deserts, the San Diego area, the extreme Northeast, and the area between what is now Healdsburg and Eureka. Some of the places he does go are remote still today, such as the area of the New Idria mines in present San Benito County and the still wild Southern Sierra along the upper reaches of the Kern River.
I recommend Brewer's journal to all who have an abiding love for the diverse state that is California. After reading it, you will see the state with new eyes every time you take a road trip along its byways.
I also loved the format, since it is a collection of letters. It allowed me to pick up the book and read 1 page or 20 pages depending on how much time I had, where I was etc. It's Ok to put it down for a week or more, but then you can jump right back in.
It is a 'long' book, but there's no compulsion to read it straight through, you can meander through this book over days, weeks or months, or 'real-time' in years even, that's how his family and friends experienced it.
If you live anywhere in California where Brewer went, or if you've visited there, it is fascinating to hear his descriptions of the places from 150 years before.
I can't rave enough about this book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful read! Anyone familiar with California and especially those who have been here a long time will appreciate this description of California in the 1860's.Published 1 day ago by Nella Henninger
I love the detailed descriptive writing about the people and places that Mr. Brewer visited during his work in California. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
A very enjoyable book It indicates however that it has maps, but for a book of this subject matter I feel there are too few maps. So I'm dinging it one star.Published 11 months ago by Emileigh
This is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone who loves California.Published 18 months ago by Linda Thorpe
Brewer's letters back home give us a chance to see, through his eyes, what California was like in the 1860's.Published on February 28, 2014 by david l. milam
This book is an excellent read for those of us who love history and live in California. Kids would learn to love history if this book was one of their text booksPublished on October 18, 2013 by Sassy