By William Deverell, David Igler

This quantity of unique essays by way of best students is an cutting edge, thorough creation to the historical past and tradition of California.

  • Includes 30 essays by way of prime students within the field
  • Essays diversity extensively throughout views, together with political, social, fiscal, and environmental history
  • Essays with comparable ways are paired and grouped to paintings as person items and as partners to one another in the course of the text
  • Produced in organization with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

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Additional resources for A Companion to California History

Sample text

For Didion, the attempt to create a narrative unencumbered by irony had failed at its beginning, even as the wagon trains of the mid-1840s set out west with narratives of suffering, providential escape, and future redemption already packed into the baggage of the immigrant families. Ironies seem to be the point in Marc Reisner’s dystopian histories Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water (1993 [1986]) and A Dangerous Place: California’s Unsettling Fate (2003), which exactly mirror American anxiety about the double meaning of California (and the West generally) as simultaneously El Dorado and the Donner Pass, as an unearned gift of fortune and the curse of being reduced to cannibalism.

New York: Vintage. Stewart, George R. 1936. Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Stewart, George R. 1962. The California Trail: An Epic with Many Heroes. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Waldie, D. J. 1996. Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir. New York: W. W. Norton. Wyatt, David. 1997. Five Fires: Race, Catastrophe, and the Shaping of California. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley. Chapter Two Rereading, Misreading, and Redeeming the Golden State: Defining California through History D.

These people are not particularly powerful or influential people, but the lives they are living accurately reflect the fundamental hope that is defining contemporary California’s culture. Pai Yang doesn’t know the exact year of her birth; it was either 1969 or 1970, when what Americans call the Vietnam War spilled into Cambodia and Laos as well and her people, the Hmong, were fighting a secret war for the United States. When the Americans withdrew, her family fled to a refugee camp in Thailand, from where they were flown to Oregon under the sponsorship of a church.

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