Inventing the Dream

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199923264
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This second volume in Kevin Starr's passionate and ambitious cultural history of the Golden State focuses on the turn-of-the-century years and the emergence of Southern California as a regional culture in its own right. "How hauntingly beautiful, how replete with lost possibilities, seems that Southern California of two and three generations ago, now that a dramatically diferent society has emerged in its place," writes Starr. As he recreates the "lost California," Starr examines the rich variety of elements that figured in the growth of the Southern California way of life: the Spanish/Mexican roots, the fertile land, the Mediterranean-like climate, the special styles in architecture, the rise of Hollywood. He gives us a broad array of engaging (and often eccentric) characters: from Harrision Gray Otis to Helen Hunt Jackson to Cecil B. DeMille. Whether discussing the growth of winemaking or the burgeoning of reform movements, Starr keeps his central theme in sharp focus: how Californians defined their identity to themselves and to the nation.

Material Dreams

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019507260X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Kevin Starr is the foremost chronicler of the California dream and indeed one of the finest narrative historians writing today on any subject. The first two installments of his monumental cultural history, "Americans and the California Dream," have been hailed as "mature, well-proportioned and marvelously diverse (and diverting)" (The New York Times Book Review) and "rich in details and alive with interesting, and sometimes incredible people" (Los Angeles Times). Now, in Material Dreams, Starr turns to one of the most vibrant decades in the Golden State's history, the 1920s, when some two million Americans migrated to California, the vast majority settling in or around Los Angeles. In a lively and eminently readable narrative, Starr reveals how Los Angeles arose almost defiantly on a site lacking many of the advantages required for urban development, creating itself out of sheer will, the Great Gatsby of American cities. He describes how William Ellsworth Smyth, the Peter the Hermit of the Irrigation Crusade, the self-educated, Irish engineer William Mulholland (who built the main aquaducts to Los Angeles), and George Chaffey (who diverted the Colorado River, transforming desert into the lush Imperial Valley) brought life-supporting water to the arid South. He examines the discovery of oil, the boosters and land developers, the evangelists (such as Bob Shuler, the Methodist Savanarola of Los Angeles, and Aimee Semple McPherson), and countless other colorful figures of the period. There are also fascinating sections on the city's architecture the impact of the automobile on city planning, the Hollywood film community, the L.A. literati, and much more. By the end of the decade, Los Angeles had tripled in population and become the fifth largest city in the nation. In Material Dreams, Starr captures this explosive growth in a narrative tour de force that combines wide-ranging scholarship with captivating prose.

Americans and the California Dream 1850 1915

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199923256
Format: PDF, Docs
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Examining California's formative years, this innovative study seeks to discover the origins of the California dream and the social, psychological, and symbolic impact it has had not only on Californians but also on the rest of the country.

Endangered Dreams

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195118025
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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California, Wallace Stegner observed, is like the rest of the United States, only more so. Indeed, the Golden State has always seemed to be a place where the hopes and fears of the American dream have been played out in a bigger and bolder way. And no one has done more to capture this epic story than Kevin Starr, in his acclaimed series of gripping social and cultural histories. Now Starr carries his account into the 1930s, when the political extremes that threatened so much of the Depression-ravaged world--fascism and communism--loomed large across the California landscape. In Endangered Dreams, Starr paints a portrait that is both detailed and panoramic, offering a vivid look at the personalities and events that shaped a decade of explosive tension. He begins with the rise of radicalism on the Pacific Coast, which erupted when the Great Depression swept over California in the 1930s. Starr captures the triumphs and tumult of the great agricultural strikes in the Imperial Valley, the San Joaquin Valley, Stockton, and Salinas, identifying the crucial role played by Communist organizers; he also shows how, after some successes, the Communists disbanded their unions on direct orders of the Comintern in 1935. The highpoint of social conflict, however, was 1934, the year of the coastwide maritime strike, and here Starr's narrative talents are at their best, as he brings to life the astonishing general strike that took control of San Francisco, where workers led by charismatic longshoreman Harry Bridges mounted the barricades to stand off National Guardsmen. That same year socialist Upton Sinclair won the Democratic nomination for governor, and he launched his dramatic End Poverty in California (EPIC) campaign. In the end, however, these challenges galvanized the Right in a corporate, legal, and vigilante counterattack that crushed both organized labor and Sinclair. And yet, the Depression also brought out the finest in Californians: state Democrats fought for a local New Deal; California natives helped care for more than a million impoverished migrants through public and private programs; artists movingly documented the impact of the Depression; and an unprecedented program of public works (capped by the Golden Gate Bridge) made the California we know today possible. In capturing the powerful forces that swept the state during the 1930s--radicalism, repression, construction, and artistic expression--Starr weaves an insightful analysis into his narrative fabric. Out of a shattered decade of economic and social dislocation, he constructs a coherent whole and a mirror for understanding our own time.

Americans and the California Dream 1850 1915

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199923256
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Examining California's formative years, this innovative study seeks to discover the origins of the California dream and the social, psychological, and symbolic impact it has had not only on Californians but also on the rest of the country.

Coast of Dreams

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307795268
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this extraordinary book, Kevin Starr–widely acknowledged as the premier historian of California, the scope of whose scholarship the Atlantic Monthly has called “breathtaking”–probes the possible collapse of the California dream in the years 1990—2003. In a series of compelling chapters, Coast of Dreams moves through a variety of topics that show the California of the last decade, when the state was sometimes stumbling, sometimes humbled, but, more often, flourishing with its usual panache. From gang violence in Los Angeles to the spectacular rise–and equally spectacular fall–of Silicon Valley, from the Northridge earthquake to the recall of Governor Gray Davis, Starr ranges over myriad facts, anecdotes, news stories, personal impressions, and analyses to explore a time of unprecedented upheaval in California. Coast of Dreams describes an exceptional diversity of people, cultures, and values; an economy that mirrors the economic state of the nation; a battlefield where industry and the necessities of infrastructure collide with the inherent demands of a unique and stunning natural environment. It explores California politics (including Arnold Schwarzenegger’s election in the 2003 recall), the multifaceted business landscape, and controversial icons such as O. J. Simpson. “Historians of the future,” Starr writes, “will be able to see with more certainty whether or not the period 1990-2003 was not only the end of one California but the beginning of another”; in the meantime, he gives a picture of the place and time in a book at once sweeping and riveting in its details, deeply informed, engagingly personal, and altogether fascinating. From the Hardcover edition.

William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles

Author: Catherine Mulholland
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520234666
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Mulholland presided over the creation of a water system that forever changed the course of Southern California's history. In the first full-length biography of the water and civil engineer, his granddaughter provides insights into the triumphant completion of the Owens Valley Aqueduct and the San Francisquito Dam tragedy that ended his career. Archival photos. 7 maps.

Golden Dreams

Author: Kevin Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199924309
Format: PDF, ePub
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A narrative tour de force that combines wide-ranging scholarship with captivating prose, Kevin Starr's acclaimed multi-volume Americans and the California Dream is an unparalleled work of cultural history. In this volume, Starr covers the crucial postwar period--1950 to 1963--when the California we know today first burst into prominence. Starr brilliantly illuminates the dominant economic, social, and cultural forces in California in these pivotal years. In a powerful blend of telling events, colorful personalities, and insightful analyses, Starr examines such issues as the overnight creation of the postwar California suburb, the rise of Los Angeles as Super City, the reluctant emergence of San Diego as one of the largest cities in the nation, and the decline of political centrism. He explores the Silent Generation and the emergent Boomer youth cult, the Beats and the Hollywood "Rat Pack," the pervasive influence of Zen Buddhism and other Asian traditions in art and design, the rise of the University of California and the emergence of California itself as a utopia of higher education, the cooling of West Coast jazz, freeway and water projects of heroic magnitude, outdoor life and the beginnings of the environmental movement. More broadly, he shows how California not only became the most populous state in the Union, but in fact evolved into a mega-state en route to becoming the global commonwealth it is today. Golden Dreams continues an epic series that has been widely recognized for its signal contribution to the history of American culture in California. It is a book that transcends its stated subject to offer a wealth of insight into the growth of the Sun Belt and the West and indeed the dramatic transformation of America itself in these pivotal years following the Second World War.

Storied Land

Author: John Walton
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520227239
Format: PDF
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"John Walton never writes predictable books, and Monterey, California, is not a predictable place; the pairing is perfect. Although rooted in Monterey, this book explores how people in general construct historical narratives. Storied Land is as thought-provoking a discussion of public history and what it means to tell stories about the past as anything that I have read."—Richard White, author of Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories "With deep research, shrewd analysis, and vivid writing, John Walton reveals how we live in a web of competing stories that connect future and present to a contested past. In recovering the particular riches of Monterey's literally storied past, Walton finds universal experiences of labor, resistance, loss, and silencing. His own masterful storytelling lets us develop a fuller, more humane tie to the people of our past."—Alan Taylor, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic "In the borderlands between archived event and public memory, John Walton has found a pathway to understanding the process whereby a community remembers, forgets, denies, affirms, or otherwise structures or re-structures its understanding of itself. Excavating a region and a city important to Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and American California, A Storied Land makes a welcomed contribution to California studies and the larger history and sociology of place."—Kevin Starr, author of Inventing the Dream: California Through the Progressive Era "Once again, John Walton has turned the facts about California into a compelling narrative and a profound meditation on the nature of history and collective memory."—Howard Becker, author of Art Worlds

The San Francisco of Alfred Hitchcock s Vertigo

Author: Douglas A. Cunningham
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 0810881233
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Sight and Sound magazine's 2012 poll of the greatest films of all time, Vertigo placed at the top of the list, supplanting Citizen Kane. A favorite among critics, it also made the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies where it ranked in the top 10. Often regarded as Hitchcock's most personal work, the film explores such themes as obsession, exploitation, and voyeurism. In The San Francisco of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo: Place, Pilgrimage, and Commemoration, Douglas A. Cunningham has assembled provocative essays that examine the uniquely integrated relationship that the 1958 film enjoys with the histories and cultural imaginations of California and, more specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area. Contributors to this collection ponder a number of topics such as the ways in which Vertigo resurrects the narratives of San Francisco's violent past; how sightseeing informs the act of watching the film; the significance that landmarks in the film hold in our collective cultural memory; and the variety of ways in which Vertigo enthusiasts commemorate the film. The essays also ask larger questions about the specificities of place and the role such specificities play in our comprehensive efforts to understand this layered and seminal film. Because of its interdisciplinary approach, The San Francisco of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo will have a broad appeal to scholars of film, anthropology, geography, ethnic studies, the history of California and the West, tourism, and, of course, anyone with an abiding interest in the work of Alfred Hitchcock.