The Atlantic Bookshelf: A Guide to Good Books

AMERICA, which has a fair reputation for boom towns, never produced a faster or more glamorous growth than Virginia City, Nevada. When George D. Lyman was born there in 1882, the rush was over and the gold fever had subsided. But ghosts prowled the streets and old-timers still recalled the great days. Dr. Lyman graduated from Columbia and grew up to be a distinguished child specialist in San Francisco. But Western history was his hobby, and in his Californiana, in his famous private library, and in his recollections, he found the mosaic for his picture of the booming Gold Coast.