This book is a collection of diaries or personal accounts by South American emigrants during the California Gold Rush. The reports are eyewitness accounts, written either on the spot or within a few years of the events described. They could not possibly be more authentic, more exciting, more vivid and satisfying. The writers were Chileans, so they provide us with a view of ourselves through foreign eyes. They were a highly educated group, including some of the most famous names in Chilean literature. Their writings offer an unusual combination of sophistication, insight, and wry commentary, frequently laced with humor.
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