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Eric Lott, Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (1993)

Lott explores the enormously popular practice of blackface minstrelsy and the questions it raises. Why were white working class audiences so fascinated with black expressions, language, and appearance? Were they drawn to the genre by admiration or contempt?

The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream, by H.W. Brand, (2002)

If you are looking for a great introduction as well as a compelling analysis of the Gold Rush, this is your book. Brand tells us the story of the gold seekers and their experience in California, but he also places this narrative within a larger story about the American Dream.

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