Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: "Ralston's Ring: California Plunders the Comstock Lode" By George Dunlap Lyman

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    443

    Default "Ralston's Ring: California Plunders the Comstock Lode" By George Dunlap Lyman

    My review of the book:

    Although I knew how William Ralston's and the Bank of California's lives (which almost seems redundant because they were so intertwined) ended, Lyman kept me on the edge of my seat until the end of the final chapter.

    Lyman paints a sympathetic portait of Ralston as the Great Benefactor of San Francisco. While not a complete hagiography of the man, the author explains even Ralston's harshest business tactics as earnest efforts to build California's nascent industries by channeling the wealth of Nevada's Comstock to support them. The rest of the Ralston Ring come off as less than noble, with Sharon portrayed as a narcissistic fair-weather friend. The tunnel-boring Sutro, who would later become Mayor of San Francisco, appears as Raltson's arch nemesis. The author portrays Sutro as a strong man determined to finish his tunnel project in face of opposition from the Ralston Ring, and he does not take sides between the two. One's success ultimately led in the other's failure, but such was business in the day.

    Chapters are topical rather than chronological, so it will benefit the reader to keep a mental timeline to better understand the narrative. Take a trip back into a largely unregulated stock market to see how fortunes were created and destroyed through manipulation and scheming. Meet those who gambled in mining operations and spent lavishly on extravagent lifestyles and monumental building projects. At times the history does indeed seem too far-fetched to be true. Some of the claims have not withstood the test of time (e.g. that Comstock silver was used to produce Japan's first modern coinage in 1872), but the book is still a good read for students of California and Nevada history. Lyman will keep your interest throughout.

    While the town of Sutro is a true ghost town, the main cities described in the book (Virginia City and San Francisco) are not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    556

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post
    ... Take a trip back into a largely unregulated stock market to see how fortunes were created and destroyed through manipulation and scheming. ...
    Nothing much has changed in all these years, has it? Now it's all just on a grander scale.

    But thanks for that review. That's a book I'll be reading. It sounds like a good compliment to "Comstock Mining and Miners", written in 1883, by Eliot Lord, one of my all-time favorite books.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Central Orange County
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeZona View Post
    Nothing much has changed in all these years, has it? Now it's all just on a grander scale.

    But thanks for that review. That's a book I'll be reading. It sounds like a good compliment to "Comstock Mining and Miners", written in 1883, by Eliot Lord, one of my all-time favorite books.
    It's mind-boggling how crooked the system used to be.

    The beginning of the book describes how Sharon (Ralston's right-hand man sent to Virginia City) was swindled out of his fortune. He bought a large number of shares of a particular mine at the San Francisco exchange. When he brought a check to receive the certificates, he discovered that he had bought the same shares a number of times. Apparently he had no recourse and some unscrupulous stock jobber got away scott free.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. "Lost Gold Cache Near Redding, California"
    By Johnnie in forum Getting There!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-07-2009, 05:23 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-26-2007, 04:45 AM
  3. "Bodie California" What is the Latest on the R. V. Park
    By Johnnie in forum Current Status of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-18-2005, 04:06 AM
  4. "Tombstone" and the it`s Legendary figure "Wyatt Earp "
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum History of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-23-2005, 04:09 AM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-30-1999, 11:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •