From Library Journal
Starr's excellent history of California here reaches a third volume (the earlier volumes are Americans and the California Dream: 1850-1915, LJ 7/73, and Inventing the Dream, LJ 5/1/85). Southern California--aka Los Angeles--has seized the floor. It's boosters are busy raiding land from the basin and water from the north, while Sister Aimee Semple McPherson soothes the crowds of new Californians. Colleges and culture begin to provide a sense of place and pride. Starr continues to employ social history and biography as a means of painting the greater picture. This method aptly suits the booming megalopolis, which is in large part the creation of idealists, visionaries, evangelicals, and eccentrics. Many of these stories have been told before, but they bear retelling by a writer with Starr's narrative gifts. Highly recommended.-Timothy L. Zindel, Hastings Coll. of the Law, San Francisco
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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'Material Dreams is a splendid achievement: impressively researched, expertly argued and nicely varied ... (Starr) has taken a sprawling, recalcitrant subject, at once encrusted with cliche and dogged by obscurity, and made it vivid and comprehensible.' Boston Sunday Globe 'Kevin Starr has written an engaging, eccentric history of Southern California in the '20s ... It is richly researched, informative, fun to read and the writing is bright (with substance, pace and vigor).' Los Angeles Times