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Tales & Treasures of California's…
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Tales & Treasures of California's Ranchos

by Randall A. Reinstedt

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This book was written to be a nonfiction work, but it is not as scholarly as I would like. There was no formal work-cited page or even an index. There were only (occasionally) casual author's notes abut people, places, and events mentioned in the book. However, I found a few of Reinstedt's "tales" told about rancho customs (bull and bear fights, fandangos, rodeos) interesting and compelling. The book had accessible text for a fourth grader. Reinstedt claims that the hide and tallow trade was "a dark page in California history" because thousands of animals were killed for their skins." This is a different perspective! Unfortunately, most of the "tales" of the ranchos were not really from the period of Mexican cattle ranchos; rather they were part of the Gold Rush era. ( )
  odonnell | Jul 2, 2010 |
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