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California : a history

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2007, ©2005.
Series: Modern Library chronicles, 23.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Modern Library pbk. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"California has always been our Shangri-la - the promised land of countless pilgrims in search of the American Dream. Now the Golden State's premier historian, Kevin Starr, distills the entire sweep of California's history into one splendid volume. From the age of exploration to the age of Arnold, this is the story of a place at once quintessentially American and utterly unique. Arguing that America's most populous  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Kevin Starr
ISBN: 9780812977530 081297753X
OCLC Number: 99996509
Description: xxv, 370 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.
Contents: Queen Calafia's Island: place and first people --
Laws of the Indies: the Spanish Colonial era --
A troubled territory: Mexican California --
Striking it rich: the establishment of an American state --
Regulation, railroad, and revolution: achievement and turmoil in the new state --
The higher provincialism: American life in an emergent region --
Great expectations: creating the infra-structure of a mega-state --
Making it happen: labor through the Great Depression and beyond --
War and peace: garrison state and suburban growth --
O brave new world!: seeking utopia through science and technology --
An imagined place: art and life on the coast of dreams --
Ecumenopolis: forging a world society --
Arnold!: stewardship or squandered legacy?
Series Title: Modern Library chronicles, 23.
Responsibility: Kevin Starr.
Local System Bib Number:
.b11038263

Abstract:

"California has always been our Shangri-la - the promised land of countless pilgrims in search of the American Dream. Now the Golden State's premier historian, Kevin Starr, distills the entire sweep of California's history into one splendid volume. From the age of exploration to the age of Arnold, this is the story of a place at once quintessentially American and utterly unique. Arguing that America's most populous state has always been blessed with both spectacular natural beauty and astonishing human diversity, Starr unfolds a rapid-fire epic of discovery, innovation, catastrophe, and triumph. For generations, California's native peoples basked in the abundance of a climate and topography eminently suited to human habitation. By the time the Spanish arrived in the early sixteenth century, there were scores of autonomous tribes were thriving in the region. Though conquest was rapid, nearly two centuries passed before Spain exerted control over upper California through the chain of missions that stand to this day. The discovery of gold in January 1848 changed everything. With population increasing exponentially as get-rich-quick dreamers converged from all over the world, California reinvented itself overnight. Starr deftly traces the successive waves of innovation and calamity that have broken over the state since then - the incredible wealth of the Big Four railroad tycoons and the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906; the emergence of Hollywood as the world's entertainment capital and of Silicon Valley as the center of high-tech research and development; the heroic irrigation and transportation projects that have altered the face of the region; the role of labor, both organized and migrant, in key industries from agriculture to aerospace. Kevin Starr has devoted his career to the history of his beloved state, but he has never lost his sense of wonder over California's sheer abundance and peerless variety. This one-volume distillation of a lifetime's work gathers together everything that is most important, most fascinating, and most revealing about our greatest state."
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