Irving Stone takes us on a journey that allows us to encounter the citizenry, experience the milestones, and appraise the events that forged the nation's most populous state. Experience the culture, the hardships, and the greatness of men such as John Sutter, John Bidwell, Samuel Brannan, Thomas O. Larkin, the Revered Walter Colton, and John Charles Fremont. Witness the terrible tragedy of the Donner Party and the long-battled for successes of so many others. Marvel at the speed gold fever transformed a sleepy trickle of immigration into the torrent of the Gold Rush. Follow the intrigue as the intrepid Mexicans, Californios, and Americans vie for control of the territory destined to become our Union's 31st state.