Golden Dreams by Kevin Starr
California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963 (Americans and the California Dream)

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Synopsis

A narrative tour de force that combines wide-ranging scholarship with captivating prose, Kevin Starr's acclaimed multi-volume Americans and the California Dream is an unparalleled work of cultural history. In this volume, Starr covers the crucial postwar period--1950 to 1963--when the California we know today first burst into prominence.
Starr brilliantly illuminates the dominant economic, social, and cultural forces in California in these pivotal years. In a powerful blend of telling events, colorful personalities, and insightful analyses, Starr examines such issues as the overnight creation of the postwar California suburb, the rise of Los Angeles as Super City, the reluctant emergence of San Diego as one of the largest cities in the nation, and the decline of political centrism. He explores the Silent Generation and the emergent Boomer youth cult, the Beats and the Hollywood "Rat Pack," the pervasive influence of Zen Buddhism and other Asian traditions in art and design, the rise of the University of California and the emergence of California itself as a utopia of higher education, the cooling of West Coast jazz, freeway and water projects of heroic magnitude, outdoor life and the beginnings of the environmental movement. More broadly, he shows how California not only became the most populous state in the Union, but in fact evolved into a mega-state en route to becoming the global commonwealth it is today.
Golden Dreams continues an epic series that has been widely recognized for its signal contribution to the history of American culture in California. It is a book that transcends its stated subject to offer a wealth of insight into the growth of the Sun Belt and the West and indeed the dramatic transformation of America itself in these pivotal years following the Second World War.
 

About Kevin Starr

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Kevin Starr is University Professor and Professor of History, University of Southern California, and State Librarian of California Emeritus. His Americans and the California Dream series has earned him the National Medal for the Humanities, the Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University, the Gold Medal of the Commonwealth Club of California, a Guggenheim fellowship, and election to the Society of American Historians.
 
Published June 9, 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA. 564 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Golden Dreams

Publishers Weekly

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This volume concludes Starr's unprecedented seven-volume history of a single American state. While out of chronological order (Starr covered the period 1990–2003 in <EMPHASIS TYPE=ITALI

May 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Golden Dreams: California in ...

truthdig

Just as a really quick so of a comparison, the numbers of people becoming involved in the process are historical, and higher than they’ve ever come anywhere close to, since Vietnam, when things were finally coming to a head in that protest against that horror.

May 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Golden Dreams: California in ...

truthdig

Dostoyesvsky got it wrong when in The Grand Inquisitor he has the corrupt cardinal say that mystery and spetacle will rule in the future - in fact mystery is to not be allowed anywhere in the human heart - western civilization (sic.) has always been in the hands of the mystery haters, the death l...

Apr 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Golden Dreams: California in ...

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