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By George L. Henderson

Among the often stated occasions of the Gold Rush and the good melancholy stretches a interval of California background that's both an important yet much less frequently stated. In his clean, artificial attention of those in-between years, George L. Henderson issues in particular to the take-off of California's rural juggernaut among the Eighties and center 1920s--the upward spiral of urban bids for nation money and rural bids for city investments. those a long time have been salve for mining's dicy funds but foundation for the chaotic Nineteen Thirties. additionally, Henderson argues that very like the 2 vital sessions which framed it, this period produced a cultural and literary equipment that tried to grapple with capital's machinations, if purely to valid them within the end.

Central to California and the Fictions of Capital is a thought of ways the move of capital wove itself into agriculture. The booklet asks why it mattered to capital that agriculture used to be established in Nature, after which explores the approaches by which photographs of Nature turned important to capitalism's tale of itself. What particular percentages did Nature supply to circuits of capital and what used to be their function in suturing the city and rural jointly? How did growth and bust intrude and set the speed for nearby switch? How was once capital associated with the racializing of operating our bodies? And why was once the capitalist important expressed in panorama adjustments like irrigation? Such are the major questions informing this daring, far-reaching volume.

Beyond political financial system, the booklet additionally seems to be to the agricultural juggernaut's cultural and literary paintings, which used to be stamped via celebratory, if fretful, ruminations. In all kinds of texts--but in particular in novels via Frank Norris, Mary Austin, Harold Bell Wright, and lots of different writers--difficult questions surfaced. Capital used to be visible when it comes to its spillage into rural frontiers, simply as rural frontiers have been visible when it comes to activities of capital. Capital was the recent geography of cash. yet for whom did it paintings? Which identities did it want? In mapping the genuine and imaginary geographical regions that capital occupied, Henderson locates the banker-, land developer-, and engineer-heroes of California fiction in addition to the fictionalized "new lady" of the capitalist, agrarian West. He unravels the colliding representations of race, gender, and sophistication, whereas linking their therapy to the naturalizing rhetoric of capital's agrarian turn.

In half a journey of California as a digital laboratory for refining the stream of capital, and partially an research of ways the state's literati, with infrequent exception, reconceived financial system within the identify of sophistication, gender, and racial privilege, this learn will attract all scholars and students of California's--and the yank West's--economic, environmental, and cultural past.

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