McNeer, May. The California Gold Rush (Landmark Book #6; 5th Printing). New York: 1950.

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May McNeer. The California Gold Rush (Landmark Book #6; 5th Printing). New York: Random House, 1950.

Binding: Hardcover (Original Cloth). Illustrator: Lynd Ward. Book Condition: Very Good+ Condition. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good-. Size: 8"-9" - Octavo (8vo). 184 pages. Item Type: Book.

A collectible copy of the sixth book in the mid-century Landmark series on American History. From the blurb on the dust jacket flap: "A readable as an adventure story, 'The California Gold Rush' recreates accurately the life and atmosphere of 'the days of old, the days of gold' when young men went West with pick and shovel to look for riches and stayed to add a new chapter to our country's history."

McNeer was the writer of history for children. Ward was her husband and winner of the 1942 Carteret Book Club Award for Book Illustration. His numerous illustrations (from chapter headings to full-page) are printed in black and lime green.

The internal list and list on the back panel of the dust jacket both list Landmark books 1-30.

In creating the Landmark series of books, Random House put together some of the best writers of the time (including historians and novelists) to tell the story of "appealing subjects from America's past." Kathy Artner, in her "Reader's Guide to American History," called them "the best collection of children's histories ever written."

David Spear, in his Oct. 2016 article on the series for the American Historical Association, provides this assessment of the series: "The Landmark series embodied all the strengths and weaknesses of the period. Most of the books celebrated the achievements of white Protestant males, subscribed to the certainty of American exceptionalism, and upheld 'the march of progress.' Thus, we have books on the Wright brothers, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and Commodore Perry and the opening of Japan, to pick from the list almost randomly. One or two of the books were explicitly racist. But many displayed a wonderful magnanimity of spirit—as, for example, in MacKinlay Kantor's capacious treatment of Lee and Grant's dramatic surrender ceremony at Appomattox. Moreover, the series included 15 books with female subjects, not the least of which was 'Women of Courage.' Seven of the books dealt exclusively or largely with Native Americans, including sympathetic biographies of Geronimo and Sequoyah. And one of my personal favorites was 'George Washington Carver': it made me want to be a botanist."

Hardcover bound in red cloth over boards. Corners are sharp with minimal shelf wear the bottom corner tips and edges. Title and decoration printed in black and gilt on the front cover and spine. End papers are an illustration of '49ers and their pack mules heading off to California on a lime green background.

The unclipped (150/150) dust jacket has a 1" tear at the bottom of the front panel close to the fold for the spine. There is a 1/2" cut in the middle of the rear fold of the spine and a small punch toward the top of the rear fold. All of these have been repaired with archival paper tape (the cut and punch are almost invisible). There are two 1/4" chips at the head of the spine and ther is a 1/2" tear with about 1/4" of loss at the middle of the top edge of the jacket. The jacket is now protected in a clear archival Brodart sleeve.

Text block is tight, bright and unmarked. No foxing in this copy. All edges clean, neat and free of foxing. The top page edge is stained a light yellow and has some light spots close to the spine. Previous owner's signature in ink in an adult hand at the top right corner of the free front end paper.

Illustrator: Lynd Ward. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: 0 lbs 15 oz. Category: Children; United States - Expansion 1829-1861; United States; 1950s; History. ISBN: No ISBN. Inventory No: 1210.
PRICE: $US 18.00