By George L. Henderson
Among the often mentioned occasions of the Gold Rush and the good melancholy stretches a interval of California heritage that's both the most important yet much less usually said. In his clean, artificial attention of those in-between years, George L. Henderson issues particularly to the take-off of California's rural juggernaut among the Eighteen 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 Thirties. furthermore, Henderson argues that very similar to the 2 vital classes which framed it, this period produced a cultural and literary gear 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 concept of ways the stream of capital wove itself into agriculture. The ebook asks why it mattered to capital that agriculture used to be established in Nature, after which explores the systems in which photographs of Nature grew to become important to capitalism's tale of itself. What distinct chances 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 swap? How was once capital associated with the racializing of operating our bodies? And why was once the capitalist central expressed in panorama adjustments like irrigation? Such are the main questions informing this daring, far-reaching volume.
Beyond political financial system, the publication additionally seems to be to the agricultural juggernaut's cultural and literary paintings, which used to be stamped by way of celebratory, if fretful, ruminations. In every kind of texts--but specifically in novels through Frank Norris, Mary Austin, Harold Bell Wright, and lots of different writers--difficult questions surfaced. Capital was once noticeable when it comes to its spillage into rural frontiers, simply as rural frontiers have been visible by way of events 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 nation-states that capital occupied, Henderson locates the banker-, land developer-, and engineer-heroes of California fiction in addition to the fictionalized "new girl" 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 travel of California as a digital laboratory for refining the stream of capital, and partly an research of the way the state's literati, with infrequent exception, reconceived financial system within the identify of sophistication, gender, and racial privilege, this research will entice all scholars and students of California's--and the yank West's--economic, environmental, and cultural past.
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