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The Left Coast: California on the Edge Paperback – June 21, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Intertwines history, geology, memories, and anecdotes in flowing, poetic text that meanders through time.”
(Publishers Weekly 2011-07-11)

"The author wields a pen, memories of the past, and keen interviewing skills, while the artist presents breathtaking color photographs that capture the coast's magic. . . . Visitors to the Golden State could easily skip conventional guidebooks and keep The Left Coast handy for a thorough and engaging tour."
(Foreword 2011-06-01)

“The contrast between the ocean's nothingness and civilization's muchness is captured by the photographs of Alex L. Fradkin”
(Wall Street Journal 2011-07-09)

“An endearing but honest look at California's coast . . . . ‘The Left Coast’ is well-illustrated, thoughtful, and detailed enough to serve as a guidebook.”
(North County Times 2011-07-10)

“Alex Fradkin's photographs are at times surreal and at times gritty. . . .while Philip Fradkin's narrative weaves in and out, breaking down the coast into manageable chunks.”
(SF Weekly 2011-08-19)

“Fascinating, unpredictable and affecting. Alex Fradkin’s photographs also defy expectations, rendering familiar places and situations from novel and challenging perspectives.”
(Dean Brierly Black & White / Color 2011-12-01)

“This handsome book includes dozens of color plates of California’s famous beaches. . . . [The] photographs are technically superb, lyrical, and often haunting.”
(Zara Raab San Francisco Book Review 2011-10-04)

“It is, at once, a memoir, a work of investigative journalism, and a portfolio of fine art, all of which is sharply focused on the California shoreline.”
(Jonathan Kirsch Jewish Journal 2011-07-01)

“A good introduction. Hopefully this body of work will go on tour to major venues on the coast.”
(Claudia Chapline Artswell 2011-06-09)

From the Inside Flap

“It’s not often that stunning photographs and powerful writing come together with equal force, but that is exactly what happens with The Left Coast. The team of Fradkin and Fradkin has created a book that shares their distinct visions of the California coast. Their collaboration forms a compelling journey equally strong in words and images.” -Mark Klett, School of Art, Arizona State University

“Early last century, writer-photographer J. Smeaton Chase and literary landscapist Mary Austin made pilgrimages along the pristine shores of California. A father-son team now makes the same journey with notebook and camera to document what a century of development has wrought. The result is a fascinating and unique portrayal of the California coast.”- Kevin Starr, University of Southern California

“These photos are beautiful, surprising and thoughtful. By visualizing the coast as a whole, this book helps us think bioregionally, and such large-scale thinking will, hopefully contribute to the coast’s preservation.” -Robert Dawson, co-author of The Great Central Valley: California’s Heartland


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520255097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520255098
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,042,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David Marks on August 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Philip Fradkin died not long after this book was published, and even though I knew him as one of a handful of the very finest California writers of all time, I feared that this final book might not be quite as good as his former writing. I couldn't have been more wrong! And his son's photographs here are exceptionally poignant and illustrative of the textual story... this is just simply a must-have book for anyone who cares about the Golden State.

Stunning & authoritative writing of past and present California, what more could any of us ask? And as he always did, Fradkin has given us more than our wildest dreams ever expected....the Left Coast, indeed!
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful journey with above average photography - lovely and unusual. A vivid and intelligent portrait. It offers a wonderful perspective into the different "coasts" of California. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has only 116 pages, including the index, although there are ten pages of front material, including the Prologue. This is not a criticism of the book, which I love, but only of sloppy listing that the internet will perpetuate.
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