Since the last revision in 1990, enormous changes have taken place within the state: many landscapes and buildings have been greatly altered and some are no longer in existence. Every effort has been made, through personal observation, to record the present condition of the landmarks and to provide clear and accurate descriptions of their locations. The text is written with the idea that the reader might use the book while traveling around the state, and thus mileage and signposts have been given where it was thought helpful. For this new edition, the reviser has added additional information on the state's geography, the presence of Native Americans, and state and local museums.
To provide historical background, the reviser has written a short historical overview. The chapters of the book are organized by county, in alphabetical order. A rough chronology is followed for each county, beginning with pertinent facts on geography, continuing with Native American life, the coming of the Spaniards and other Europeans, the American conquest of the 1840s, and, in those areas where it had a major impact, the gold rush. The text then continues into the period of intensive agricultural development, railroads, industrialization, the growth of cities, the effects of World War II, and on into more recent times.
The bibliography, like the text, has been updated to 2001 and includes some of the established classics in California history as well as more recent material.
Reviews of the Fourth Edition
"Prodigious in detail and scope, this is the definitive guide to historical landmarks in California and a valuable resource not only for travelers but also for anyone interested in California history." —California Highways
"This is an outstanding and accessible piece of scholarship, one that every student of California will value." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Kyle and Stanford University Press are to be lauded for this monumental undertaking." —Southern California Quarterly
"Spiritual heir to Norman Mailer."—The Atlantic
"Wimsatt's charisma stems from his courage."—Cornel West
"Bomb the Suburbs and No More Prisons are cult classics deftly reflecting the hip-hop generation's maturation."—Miami New Times
"A refreshing voice for Generation X."—Library Journal
"Ahead of the curve."—Spin
As a potty-mouthed graffiti writer from the South Side of Chicago, William Upski Wimsatt electrified the literary and hip-hop world with two of the most successful underground classic books in a generation, Bomb the Suburbs (1994) and No More Prisons (1999), which, combined, sold more than ninety thousand copies.
In Please Don't Bomb the Suburbs, Wimsatt weaves a first-person tour of America's cultural and political movements from 1985–2010. It's a story about love, growing up, a generation coming of age, and a vision for the movement young people will create in the new decade. With humor, storytelling, and historical insight, Wimsatt lays out a provocative vision for the next twenty-five years of personal and historical transformation. Never heard of Billy Wimsatt before? Your life just got better.
William Upski Wimsatt is the author of Bomb the Suburbs and No More Prisons. A maverick graffiti artist, journalist, and political and philanthropic organizer, Wimsatt has appeared in dozens of publications and is a popular speaker at colleges and conferences. He founded the League of Young Voters, worked for Barack Obama in Ohio, and co-organized the first-ever briefing of social justice artists with the White House. He was honored as a "visionary" by Utne Reader and included in The Source's "Power 30" list. He lives in Brooklyn.
Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—"these truths," Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?
These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News.
Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism.
Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history," Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."
Conflicted by power, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and acted as Minister to France yet yearned for a quieter career in the Virginia legislature. Predicting that slavery would shape the future of America's development, this professed proponent of emancipation elided the issue in the Declaration and continued to own human property. An eloquent writer, he was an awkward public speaker; a reluctant candidate, he left an indelible presidential legacy.
Jefferson's statesmanship enabled him to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase with France, doubling the size of the nation, and he authorized the Lewis and Clark expedition, opening up the American frontier for exploration and settlement. Hitchens also analyzes Jefferson's handling of the Barbary War, a lesser-known chapter of his political career, when his attempt to end the kidnapping and bribery of Americans by the Barbary states, and the subsequent war with Tripoli, led to the building of the U.S. navy and the fortification of America's reputation regarding national defense.
In the background of this sophisticated analysis is a large historical drama: the fledgling nation's struggle for independence, formed in the crucible of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and, in its shadow, the deformation of that struggle in the excesses of the French Revolution. This artful portrait of a formative figure and a turbulent era poses a challenge to anyone interested in American history -- or in the ambiguities of human nature.