Samuel Bowles, Our New West, 1869.

23 09 2011

I picked this off the shelves of the Western Museum of Mining and Industry last night before I heard a talk by Philip Dray about his excellent history of American labor, There Is Power in a Union, newly out in paperback. I can’t wait to give it a closer look.

By the way, if you’re in Colorado, you can here me talk about another book I kind of like at the WMMI, which is just north of Colorado Springs, on November 3rd at 7PM.

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3 responses

23 09 2011
Jonathan Dresner

Does the book point out that the caption on that picture is mistaken? That’s two Japanese samurai.

24 09 2011
Jonathan Rees

It’s funny, Jon. I picked that picture because it was almost the only one in the book where it was vertical instead of facing the inside of the page since I don’t know how to twist Google Books cuts. Perhaps though it’s also the most interesting for the reason you point out.

No, the book says no such thing, which makes me wonder where Bowles got the picture in the first place.

24 09 2011
Jonathan Dresner

Interesting: I looked at the chapter on Chinese, and it’s unquestionably a chapter about the Chinese (insofar as it isn’t about American racism, etc.); there seems to be no confusion there. Oddly, that picture isn’t mentioned in the list of illustrations at the front of the book (though the following picture of Native Americans is). If I had to guess, I’d suspect the publisher of throwing it in to make things more interesting, and not knowing enough to distinguish. I can’t see how anyone who’d actually seen California Chinese of that era would make the mistake.

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