Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era

Paperback | March 1, 1991

byKevin Starr

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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, seemsthat 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 usa 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 tothemselves and to the nation.

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From Our Editors

With the exception of certain deliberate excursions to the north, this narrative is more than half concerned with the rise of Southern California in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The focus remains, as usual, the imaginative and symbolic aspects of experience as the imagination impinges upon social and psychological real...

From the Publisher

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, seemsthat Southern California of two and three gener...

From the Jacket

With the exception of certain deliberate excursions to the north, this narrative is more than half concerned with the rise of Southern California in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The focus remains, as usual, the imaginative and symbolic aspects of experience as the imagination impinges upon social and psychological real...

Kevin Starr is at University of San Francisco.

other books by Kevin Starr

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California: A History

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 1.18 inPublished:March 1, 1991Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195042344

ISBN - 13:9780195042344

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From Our Editors

With the exception of certain deliberate excursions to the north, this narrative is more than half concerned with the rise of Southern California in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The focus remains, as usual, the imaginative and symbolic aspects of experience as the imagination impinges upon social and psychological realities and in turn transforms the materials of experience into the building blocks of identity.

Editorial Reviews

"An impressive book...The grasp is sure, the learning awesome. The prose...has a drive that carries cities and industries and people and decades headlong toward their manifest destiny."--The New York Times