Doesn’t have an official title yet. But here’s what it’s about:
From the border to the Lost Coast with its “farmers,” California is a complex state of thirty million. A state of nearly hundred spoken languages, California is a state of paradoxes: The rich and the teeming homeless, the vegetarians and environmentalists, the oil derricks along the beaches, the terrible history of wiping out Native Americans to build missions, of deporting the Japanese to Manzanar of shoving Mexicans back across the border. A state of immense natural beauty, headquarters to Google and Alcatraz, to a burgeoning number of prisons and a crumbling public school system both for K-12 and for higher education. Living History attempts to capture California now, its beauty and its faults, why we love it and why we hate it, why we stay here, the fragments of the California dream as they drift through palm trees and deserts, through Redwoods and sky, through the fog of the Golden Gate. California is a story of gold, of dreams, of what might have been.
Featured L.A. book of the week at the LA Observed books page: Tritia Toyota's "Envisioning America: new Chinese Americans and the Politics of Belonging."