Promises of gold brought the first waves of European-Americans to Colorado in the 1859s. They found riches and built cities that never should have lasted. Readers will discover the golden beginnings of towns like Leadville and Boulder and meet the early settlers and miners who brought them to life. The next promise was always right around the corner, and the optimistic pioneers who came west simply never gave up. Silver flooded the state with more riches and more people, until the bubble burst and Colorado faded from the forefront of the American dream. The state is booming again today, with a vibrant beer, marijuana and energy economy epitomizing the 21st century American dream. This is the history of Colorado through the lens of its uniquely mythic economy, from boom to boom and into the future.
Thomas J. “Dr. Colorado” Noel heads History Colorado's State Historians Council. He is a Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver), is the author of more than fifty books, articles and columns. Tom teaches Denver, Colorado, Heritage Tourism, Historic Preservation, Mining & Railroads, National Parks History, U.S. West, and Western Art & Architecture courses at CU Denver, as well as conducting tours of the highest state and the Mile High City for History Colorado. Tom also appears on Denver KUSA Channel 9's "Colorado & Company" as Dr. Colorado. He directs the Center for Colorado Studies at the Denver Public Library.William J. Hansen is an attorney who, after obtaining a Business Degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder, graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 1974. Bill has been extremely active in the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and is a frequent writer and lecturer on the evolution of Colorado law. Since childhood, he has had a passion for history. After purchasing an old Victorian home in Denver’s Montclair neighborhood, he researched and guided the restoration of the Molkery in Montclair Park and went on to co-author with Professor Noel two local best-selling books for Historic Denver, Inc. on The Montclair Neighborhood and the Park Hill Neighborhood. Bill continues to collect, research, write, lecture, and provide periodic walking tours on Denver and Colorado history.