A Companion to California History by William Deverell, David Igler

By William Deverell, David Igler

This quantity of unique essays through best students is an cutting edge, thorough creation to the background and tradition of California.

  • Includes 30 essays via major students within the field
  • Essays diversity largely throughout views, together with political, social, monetary, and environmental history
  • Essays with related techniques are paired and grouped to paintings as person items and as partners to one another during the text
  • Produced in organization with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

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Rail) but of leisured transportation,” including a modern touring car and a soon-to-be-antique pony cart. ” None of these distinct categories of place contradicts the others, the label and its satisfied lemon-dealer patron assert. Wilderness, feminine high fashion, the classic order of citrus culture, virile technology, and implied speed – in effect, all of nature and all of civilization – “are perfectly in scale” (McClung 2000: 27). The unstable synthesis of these places – unresolved in space as well as in time – is one factor that has produced in some observers a much remarked-on unease, despite assertions about the palliative and ordered pace of California’s imagined life.

Mas Masumoto, roots deep in California soil, is one face of California culture. Whether refugee, immigrant, or native Californian, these four people illustrate what is happening in contemporary California culture at ground level. Pai Yang, born abroad, brings her talents and her Hmong heritage to the culture. Malcolm Margolin makes available the wisdom of 18 james quay California’s first cultures, so that the state’s future can learn from its past. Alice Waters plants a French restaurant in California soil and seeds a movement based on the most basic cultural activity.

We depend on our place, but dislike its claims on us. Californians are certain about our own preferences for a home, but we’re ready to question our neighbor’s choice. And no home is immune from the peculiarly American certainty that something better is just beyond the next bend in the road. California, as a representation of America’s divided heart, poses large questions about the uses of history in the making of a fit place to live, and this bears on the historian’s hope: Can any part of our past be of any value to us, except as nostalgia or irony?

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