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Comment: Very good book in very good minus dustjacket. Linden Publishing 2004. Binding solid, pages clean, no highlighting or underlining. Light wear and minimal scuffing to boards; small bump to front board at bottom corner; mild creasing at spine ends. The pages are in very good shape-unmarked, unstained, and unfaded. Dustjacket: light wear and light to moderate scuffing to covers; crease to front cover at bottom corner; fairly faint mark to back cover on barcode.
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Garden of the Sun: A History of the San Joaquin Valley, 1772-1939 Hardcover – February 1, 2004

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Frequently Bought Together

Garden of the Sun: A History of the San Joaquin Valley, 1772-1939 + The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland (A Centennial Book) + The Other California: The Great Central Valley In Life And Letters (Western Literature Series)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 860 pages
  • Publisher: Craven Street Books; 2nd edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0941936775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0941936774
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


""A treasure of regional lore. . . . Smith explores his subject from every angle. ""Garden of the Sun"" maintains a lively pace laced with plenty of humor. A fine, fascinating resource . . . and nothing short of sparkling."" --""The News Review ""(October 19, 2011)

About the Author

Wallace Smith was a professor at Fresno State College and a leading authority on the history of the San Joaquin Valley.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mcewin on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wallace Smith's 'Garden of the Sun' was published in 1939 while he taught at Reedley Junior College. I had the pleasure of attending one of his lectures at Fresno State, late in his life and early in mine: it was a hoot. 'Garden of the Sun' became an instant success, and was for many years the only authoritative history of California's San Joaquin Valley. It has however long been out of print, and available mostly through valley libraries, or reprint editions that like the original have become hard to come by and quite pricey. [My uncle disappeared with my copy, one Christmas many years ago]. Editor William Secrest Jr. has now issued a 'second edition' of this classic, and has gone back to Smith's original materials in an attempt to improve accuracy and. Secrest has taken the opportunity to rearrange materials, including incorporation of appendix material into the main text, and rearrangement of some blocks into a more linear format.

Mr Secrest is to be commended for making Smith's materials available to a new generation, and it would be churlish to deny the value of this new edition for students of California history. That said, despite his stated hope that the "captivating voice of Wally Smith" will come through, I find that the insertions of new material often vitiate that voice, and the stylistic jumps between old and new are often quite sharp, especially for those familiar with the older narrative. I'll keep browsing old bookstores for one of the old reprints. Readers may also consult Stan Yogi's 'Highway 99' and material in Kevin Starr's multivolume history of California.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting to read, not organized the best, but full of treasures. The only book I have found that covers so much of the area.
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