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Hello I was wondering if you knew of any good objective readings on the History of California both American, Spanish, and Mexican.

Also if you know of any books specifically on the short lived independent Republic of California.

Thank You.



There is a book called California: A History by Kevin Starr that is pretty good, although only the first 1/4 of the book deals with California before it became a State.

For a book more focused on the older era, try Contest for California: From Spanish Colonization to the American Conquest by Stephen Hyslop.

I'm not aware of any books specifically on the Republic.  The Republic really only lasted a few weeks and was never recognized by any foreign nation.  It was more of a revolt just prior the US-Mexican War.  However, there is a good book that focuses on that era: From Mud-Flat Cove to Gold to Statehood: California 1840-1850 by Irving Stone.

Finally, although I don't consider this one very unbiased, there is an old 1851 book on the History of California that focuses much of the book on the era in which it became a State.  I mention this one mostly because it was written a contemporary work, just after California became a State.  it is in the public domain and is available as a free download in various electronic formats, or can be read online:

History of the state of California : from the period of the conquest by Spain, to her occupation by the United States of America by John Frost

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

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Truman Scholar

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