inventing the dream california through the progressive era americans and the california dream

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Inventing The Dream

Author : Kevin Starr
ISBN : 9780199923267
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 30. 3 MB
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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
ISBN : 9780195072600
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 73. 74 MB
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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
ISBN : 9780199923250
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42. 49 MB
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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.

The San Francisco Of Alfred Hitchcock S Vertigo

Author : Douglas A. Cunningham
ISBN : 9780810881228
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 62. 10 MB
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This collection of essays examines the relationship that Vertigo enjoys with the histories and cultural imaginations of California and, more specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area. Contributors to this collection explore the specificities of place and the role such specificities play in our comprehensive efforts to understand Hitchcock's most critically acclaimed film.

Golden Dreams

Author : Kevin Starr
ISBN : 9780199924301
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 38. 88 MB
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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.

Embattled Dreams

Author : Kevin Starr
ISBN : 9780199923687
Genre : History
File Size : 80. 45 MB
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The sixth volume in one of the great ongoing works of American cultural history--Kevin Starr's monumental Americans and the California Dream--Embattled Dreams is a peerless work of cultural history following California in the years surrounding World War II. During the 1940s California ascended to a new, more powerful role in the nation. Starr describes the vast expansion of the war industry and California's role as the "arsenal of democracy" (especially the significant part women played in the aviation industry). He examines the politics of the state: Earl Warren as the dominant political figure, the anti-Communist movement and "red baiting," and the early career of Richard Nixon. He also looks at culture, ranging from Hollywood to the counterculture, to film noir and detective stories. And he illuminates the harassment of Japanese immigrants and the shameful treatment of other minorities, especially Hispanics and blacks. In Embattled Dreams, Starr again provides a spellbinding account of the Golden State, narrating California's transformation from a regional power to a dominant economic, social, and cultural force. "With a novelist's eye for the telling detail, and a historian's grasp of the sweep of grand events.... [Starr's] got it all down.... I read the book with absorbed admiration."--Herman Wouk, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Caine Mutiny and The Winds of War "The scope of Starr's scholarship is breathtaking."--Atlantic Monthly "A magnificent accomplishment."--Los Angeles Times Book Review "Brilliant and epic social and cultural history."--Business Week "Ebullient, nuanced, interdisciplinary history of the grandest kind."--San Francisco Chronicle

The Dream Endures

Author : Kevin Starr
ISBN : 9780199923939
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 78 MB
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What we now call "the good life" first appeared in California during the 1930s. Motels, home trailers, drive-ins, barbecues, beach life and surfing, sports from polo and tennis and golf to mountain climbing and skiing, "sportswear" (a word coined at the time), and sun suits were all a part of the good life--perhaps California's most distinctive influence of the 1930s. In The Dream Endures, Kevin Starr shows how the good life prospered in California--in pursuits such as film, fiction, leisure, and architecture--and helped to define American culture and society then and for years to come. Starr previously chronicled how Californians absorbed the thousand natural shocks of the Great Depression--unemployment, strikes, Communist agitation, reactionary conspiracies--in Endangered Dreams, the fourth volume of his classic history of California. In The Dream Endures, Starr reveals the other side of the picture, examining the newly important places where the good life flourished, like Los Angeles (where Hollywood lived), Palm Springs (where Hollywood vacationed), San Diego (where the Navy went), the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (where Einstein went and changed his view of the universe), and college towns like Berkeley. We read about the rich urban life of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in newly important communities like Carmel and San Simeon, the home of William Randolph Hearst, where, each Thursday afternoon, automobiles packed with Hollywood celebrities would arrive from Southern California for the long weekend at Hearst Castle. The 1930s were the heyday of the Hollywood studios, and Starr brilliantly captures Hollywood films and the society that surrounded the studios. Starr offers an astute discussion of the European refugees who arrived in Hollywood during the period: prominent European film actors and artists and the creative refugees who were drawn to Hollywood and Southern California in these years--Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Man Ray, Bertolt Brecht, Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann, and Franz Werfel. Starr gives a fascinating account of how many of them attempted to recreate their European world in California and how others, like Samuel Goldwyn, provided stories and dreams for their adopted nation. Starr reserves his greatest attention and most memorable writing for San Francisco. For Starr, despite the city's beauty and commercial importance, San Francisco's most important achievement was the sense of well-being it conferred on its citizens. It was a city that "magically belonged to everyone." Whether discussing photographers like Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, "hard-boiled fiction" writers, or the new breed of female star--Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, and the improbable Mae West--The Dream Endures is a brilliant social and cultural history--in many ways the most far-reaching and important of Starr's California books.

California Dreaming

Author : Ronald A. Wells
ISBN : 9781532602382
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 89 MB
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California matters, both as a place and as an idea. What famed historian Kevin Starr has called “the California Dream” is a vital part of American self-understanding. Just as America was meant to be a place of renewal, even redemption, for Europe, so too California was intended as a place of renewal for America. Therefore, California—place and idea—provides a fertile ground for scholars to think deeply about what it means to articulate “the promise of American life.” This book follows in the train of George Marsden’s classic The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship—believing that people of faith have a contribution to make to scholarship—and of Jay Green’s more recent book, Christian Historiography: Five Rival Views—believing that scholars of faith should engage in moral inquiry. In this book, eight authors inquire into the moral questions that emerge from studying California.

American Exodus

Author : James Noble Gregory
ISBN : 0195071360
Genre : History
File Size : 51. 3 MB
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Fifty years ago, John Steinbeck's now classic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, captured the epic story of an Oklahoma farm family driven west to California by dust storms, drought, and economic hardship. It was a story that generations of Americans have also come to know through Dorothea Lange's unforgettable photos of migrant families struggling to make a living in Depression-torn California. Now in James N. Gregory's pathbreaking American Exodus, there is at last an historical study that moves beyond the fiction and the photographs to uncover the full meaning of these events. American Exodus takes us back to the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and the war boom influx of the 1940s to explore the experiences of the more than one million Oklahomans, Arkansans, Texans, and Missourians who sought opportunities in California. Gregory reaches into the migrants' lives to reveal not only their economic trials but also their impact on California's culture and society. He traces the development of an "Okie subculture" that over the years has grown into an essential element in California's cultural landscape. The consequences, however, reach far beyond California. The Dust Bowl migration was part of a larger heartland diaspora that has sent millions of Southerners and rural Midwesterners to the nation's northern and western industrial perimeter. American Exodus is the first book to examine the cultural implications of that massive 20th-century population shift. In this rich account of the experiences and impact of these migrant heartlanders, Gregory fills an important gap in recent American social history.

The Frontier Of Leisure

Author : Lawrence Culver
ISBN : 0199779686
Genre : History
File Size : 81. 70 MB
Format : PDF
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Southern California has long been promoted as the playground of the world, the home of resort-style living, backyard swimming pools, and year-round suntans. Tracing the history of Southern California from the late nineteenth century through the late twentieth century, The Frontier of Leisure reveals how this region did much more than just create lavish resorts like Santa Catalina Island and Palm Springs--it literally remade American attitudes towards leisure. Lawrence Culver shows how this "culture of leisure" gradually took hold with an increasingly broad group of Americans, and ultimately manifested itself in suburban developments throughout the Sunbelt and across the United States. He further shows that as Southern Californians promoted resort-style living, they also encouraged people to turn inward, away from public spaces and toward their private homes and communities. Impressively researched, a fascinating and lively read, this finely nuanced history connects Southern Californian recreation and leisure to larger historical themes, including regional development, architecture and urban planning, race relations, Indian policy, politics, suburbanization, and changing perceptions of nature.

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