Seventy years ago, Pacific Historical Review published one of the journal’s first “special issues,” looking back on the California Gold Rush. The special issue came at a significant transitional moment in the study of the Gold Rush. In the late 1940s, historians had begun to turn away from nationalist and celebratory accounts of the Gold Rush and toward more critical perspectives. The influence of the World War II was acute, particularly in encouraging a more international perspective on the Gold Rush. (The full text of the 1949 special issue, “Rushing for Gold,” is available at

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