Most helpful positive review
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction to the meaning of California
on April 1, 2002
Having lived in CA since I was 15 and not being able to imagine living somewhere else, I thought this volume is a must-read for all Californians, whether born here or "naturalized". Being specifically a San Francisco resident, this book shed more light on the history of this city's beginning and "teenage years" than any other source I have come across. Here you will not just read facts about people like Jack London, Frank Norris, John Muir, John C. Fremont and Richard Henry Dana. You will learn what they contributed to the idea of California and their influence on what this state has turned out to be, for good or bad. You will also learn of lesser-known figures such as Thomas Starr King, Thomas Jordan, Isidore Duncan all of whom were immensely powerful figures in their day, but hardly known today by the average Californian. The writing got a little ploddy at the end for me. Maybe I was just tired. Until I got to the last two chapters, I would have given it a 5 score, mostly on the criteria of how much I learned from it. I look forward to reading the next few volumes.