Life Amongst the Modocs: Unwritten History

Capturing the fierce power and sublime beauty of California's wild landscape

Although Joaquin Miller is widely viewed as one of the “founding fathers” of the literature of the west, this new edition of his classic work proves him to be a writer of considerable power and appeal, with something fresh and vital to say to the readers of today.

First printed in 1873, Life Amongst the Modocs is based on Miller’s years among the mining towns and Indian camps of northernmost California during the tumultuous 1850s. As a nature writer, he was among the first to capture the fierce power and sublime beauty of California’s wild landscape. He was also a maverick in his portrayal of the state’s emotional landscape, dealing as no one has before or since with themes such as loneliness and defeat, melancholy and rage, weakness and strength, joy and loyalty.

Reviews

“A powerfully felt narrative of survival and warfare in the gold-digger slums and Indian emcampments of northern California.”

—William Kittredge, Northwest Review

About the Author

Alan Rosenus, a historian and writer, has reintroduced a number of California classics, including The Indian History of the Modoc War, Joaquin Miller's Life Amongst the Modocs, and Selected Writings of Joaquin Miller. A grantee of the National Endowment for the Arts, Rosenus has taught at Coe College, the College of Marin, and San Francisco State University.
Joaquin Miller, born Cincinnatus Hiner Miller in 1837, was a colorful, controversial, and important figure in early California literature.