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From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind
From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind
by Stephen Schwartz
Edition: Hardcover
59 used & new from $0.74

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failed to prove his point, January 11, 2004
As a native of Massachusetts (and world traveler), I expected to learn the opposite of what New Englanders learn in high school: how California changed us. Schwartz left that point behind after penning his title.
I agree with other reviewers that his grasp of history (pre-WWII) was good - I learned a ton about the early settlement and development, and that has enriched my travels here. I also agree that his rant about communism was too much. But there were other problems - the book turned into a SF-Chronicle vs LA argument, for one. Also, by concentrating so much on CA history, Schwartz forgot to say how it traveled east. And I thought I was going to learn that. He avoids Hollywood cultural history too much (the part that does not pertain to Communism), when that would have been vital in proving his entire point.
I could go on, but will close by saying that the book is worth reading until it gets to the year 1918. Just tear out the rest.

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