California: The Great Exception

Front Cover
University of California Press, Apr 2, 1999 - Business & Economics - 377 pages
In 1949, lawyer, historian, and journalist Carey McWilliams stepped back to assess the state of California at the end of its first one hundred years—its history, population, politics, agriculture, and social concerns. As he examined the reasons for the prodigious growth and productivity that have characterized California since the Gold Rush, he praised the vitality of the new citizens who had come from all over the world to populate the state in a very short time. But he also made clear how brutally the new Californians dealt with "the Indian problem," the water problem, and the need for migrant labor to facilitate California's massive and highly profitable agricultural industry. As we look back now on 150 years of statehood, it is particularly useful to place the events of the past fifty years in the context of McWilliams's assessment in California: The Great Exception. Lewis Lapham has written a new foreword for this edition.
 

Contents

Westchester the Water Baby
3
Californias Growing Pains
17
8
24
THE MUSTANG COLT
39
4
50
The Precocious Frontier
57
CHAPTER V
63
CALIFORNIA LATIFUNDIA
89
The Edge of Novelty
218
Local Needs and New Markets
223
Bull of the West
227
THE FABULOUS BOOM
233
The LongTerm Trend
236
The Emergence of Western Steel
239
The Question of Power
240
The Price of Expansion
243

CHAPTER VII
103
CHAPTER VIII
123
The Pattern of Violence
142
CALIFORNIAS PECULIAR
150
The Labor Pool
156
The Plot Never Changes
165
PERILOUS REMEDIES
171
The Revolt of the Thirties
181
Californias Bloody Shirt
183
Homebred KnightErrant
186
The Hidden Spring
189
THE STATE THAT SWINGS AND SWAYS 1 The Bulge in the Middle
192
The Guy Who Gets Things Done
199
Campaigns
205
Commodity Market
207
THE CULTURAL APPROACH
214
The Momentum of an Early Start
215
Technology and the West
246
LADDER TO THE STARS
249
Certain California Eccentrics
251
The Development of Mt Wilson
254
Not the Moon
257
Science in an Orange Grove
259
Antennas on a Mountain
263
The Right Side of the Mountains
265
CHAPTER XV
269
The Drouth of 1948
271
Geological Waters
274
COLORADO
293
THE CENTRAL VALLEY
317
O PANTHER OF THE SPLENDID
341
192
369
269
370
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About the author (1999)

Carey McWilliams (1905-1980), editor of The Nation from 1955 to 1975, also served as California Commissioner of Immigration and Housing for four years. He was the author of many books, including Factories in the Field, Ill Fares the Land, Brothers under the Skin, A Mask for Privilege, and Southern California: An Island on the Land. Lewis H. Lapham, a native San Franciscan, is the editor of Harper's Magazine.

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