When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill on the American River, it completely transformed the territory of California. Hundreds of thousands of people sped to California by any means possible, and small cities sprung up to service their needs as they sought the precious metal. By 1850, California had become a state; it had also become a symbol of where the nation was going.
A stunning re-creation of the Gold Rush and the effect it had - and is still having - on the American character. "A fine, robust telling of one of the greatest adventure stories in history," says David McCullough, author of John Adams.