"This book describes the affects of Spanish, Mexican, and American settlement in Indian country on Californian tribes. The author points out differences and similarities between northern, central and southern coastal California Indians and how some tribes were affected and therefore reacted differently to new arrivals from Spain, and the east coast of the blossoming United States.
California is unique to all other areas in today's United States in that it was the last area occupied by American settlers. It was also the last place left for fleeing and exiled tribes from the east to go to. This not only caused strife for local Californian tribes, but led to integration of cross-tribal cultures. Native Americans were very unique from not only outsiders, but also to other tribes.
This book is clearly written and moves at a consistent pace because every sentence is pertinent to California's amazing history!
Sutter's treatment of and plan for Native Americans is something so-called "historians" at Sutter's Mill should learn about before they tout him as some kind of heroic frontiersman. Rape, murder, suicide, disease, corrupted politics, vigilantism, paradoxical alliances between tribes and "White" men... and much more are all in here! I couldn't put this book down! Though it is a history book (of sorts), it reads like a dramatic murder-mystery book... only difference is is that this is non-fiction!! I never knew California's history was so unique and full of intrigue! You'll never think of California as the surfer-dude, Hollywood, sunny golden state again after reading this book..." -Rook Andalus