Next Meetup

The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush...New American Dream (Book Discussion)
The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream By H.W. Brands (592 pages) Recommended by Cori M. The California Gold Rush inspired a new American dream—the “dream of instant wealth, won by audacity and good luck.” The discovery of gold on the American River in 1848 triggered the most astonishing mass movement of peoples since the Crusades. It drew fortune-seekers from the ends of the earth, accelerated America’s imperial expansion, and exacerbated the tensions that exploded in the Civil War. H.W. Brands tells his epic story from multiple perspectives: of adventurers John and Jessie Fremont, entrepreneur Leland Stanford, and the wry observer Samuel Clemens—side by side with prospectors, soldiers, and scoundrels. He imparts a visceral sense of the distances they traveled, the suffering they endured, and the fortunes they made and lost. Impressive in its scholarship and overflowing with life, The Age of Gold is history in the grand traditions of Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough. “An engrossing, multifaceted history.” —The New York Times “A barn burner. . . . Masterfully sketched historical figures, subtly developed themes, and epically well-braided stories. . . . There’s only one thing to say . . . and that’s ‘Eureka!’ ” —San Francisco Chronicle “Exuberant. . . . Entertaining, lively. . . . Brands [is] a wonderfully skilled narrative historian.” —Los Angeles Times “Gripping. . . . Thoroughly researched. . . . An eminently readable, detail-filled book.” —Chicago Tribune

Blue Oak Cafe

1000 Oak St · Oakland

What we're about

We read and discuss books that are rooted in or inspired by history in all its shapes and colors. Fiction and non-fiction, both scholarly and popular. Stories that re-create the past. Journalists who tell us "what happened". Interpreters who openly argue a point of view or seek to illuminate the present through the past.

There are also many opportunities to leave our armchairs for fun history-focused field trips to museums, walking tours, films, theater, author lectures, etc.

For our book discussions, we meet every 4 weeks or so in the East Bay or San Francisco. We discuss the reading and whatever else comes up when history buffs are in the same room. With your input, we explore different themes, countries, eras, and writers.

MEETUP HAS CHANGED THE PLATFORM AGAIN. YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THIS INFORMATION UNDER "MORE". OR NOT. I JUST DON'T KNOW. Pages (discussion guidelines, late cancellation and no-show policy, and frequently asked questions including how we select books), Discussions (where you can suggest books for us to read or post anything else relevant to our group) and More (where you will find quarterly polls to vote on our upcoming reading list).

Hope to see you soon!

Key search terms: History, literature, art, music, culture, film noir, silent film, travel, author lectures, non-fiction, fiction, read, learn, books, classics, ancient, medieval, europe, latin america, asia, middle east, san francisco, revolution, indigenious, geography, evolution, war, imperialism, religion, politics, social movements, ethnicity, language, feminist, populist, pulitzer, bestseller, museum, cafe, morning

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