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Mechanics of Optimism, The

By: Safford, Jeffery J.
Price: $34.95

University Press of Colorado,2004.
In The Mechanics of Optimism, Jeffrey J. Safford examines how gold mining ventures were developed and financed during and after the Civil War, and why men—primarily Easterners with scant knowledge of mining—were willing to invest large sums in gold mines that promised quick and lucrative returns. The mining frontier is littered with short-lived “sure-fire investments.” True bonanzas were the exception, not the rule.

Safford explains how mining companies were organized and underwritten, and why a little-known district in southwestern Montana was chosen as a center of operations. What were the businessmen involved in these ventures thinking? Why didn’t new mining technology triumph as predicted? Why did their financial strategies fail to produce lavish profits? Relying on extensive primary sources, Safford answers these and other questions while reminding the reader that the rapid rise and decline of Hot Spring was not unique.Hardcover,185 pages.