While any prospector can testify that gold fever has continued to capture the hearts and minds of ambitious, hard working Americans long past the original fervor of the California gold rush, few have more expressively and poignantly depicted these modern diggers than Sarina Finkelstein in her book The New Forty-Niners. This elegant book features photographs of California miners, their tools, and diggings alongside excerpts from interviews about their lives, passions, and experiences as miners.
In an excerpt on the back, she records one miner’s meditations on gold prospecting:
Gold prospecting is a kind of tribalism—a certain slice of Americana. It’s a fraternity in a way—a secret society, private and individualized. You may get a gregarious bunch together around a campfire, but they go off their separate ways. And, sure there are petty jealousies, bravado, braggadocio falls in about how much gold you have found. But, when you tell someone you are a miner and they say they are a miner, it’s an instant connection—an instant bond. You are speaking the same language.
– Tom, Iowa Hill (Placer County), California 2012
In the age old battle of “what books deserve space on the coffee table”, this book deserves select attention in the collection of any prospector.
Visit her website at: www.sarinafinkelstein.com/