The sixth volume in Kevin Starr's monumental cultural history of California, Embattled Dreams deals with the years of World War II and after. In the 1940s California changed from a regional centre into the dominant economic, social and cultural force it has been in America ever since. The book follows the story of California year by year through the decade.;It starts with people leading the complacent "good life" on the eve of the war (1940); then the decades-long harrassment of Japanese immigrants and their culture culminating in Pearl Harbor (1941); California as a strategic centre for military training and deployment; the shameful treatment of minorities, especially Hispanics and blacks (1943); California as the "arsenal" of democracy", especially the significant role women played in in the aviation industry (1944); Hollywood's "contributions" to the war (1945); veterans' homecoming and the creation of a "counterculture" with Henry Miller at Big Sur (1946); crime, newspapers, film noir, Raymond Chandler and hardboiled fiction in Southern California (1947); Earl Warren as governor and dominant political figure (1948); the anti-communist movement and "red baiting" (1946); and the coming of the Korean War and the California career of Richard Nixon (1950). The book continues the sweep and original perceptions already well-established in Starr's series, Americans and the California Dream. Starr is a skillful storyteller, and the book has all the drive and awesome learning of his earlier books.;California in the years surrounding World War II was a special story, full of dramatic change, drama and intrigue, heroism and tragedy, and the emergence of a new. more powerful role for California in the nation. Starr captures this story with his unique vision and masterful prose.
A fine, bright copy, tightly bound in original red cloth/ card boards, in a pictorial dust jacket in similarly fine condition. No stamps or inscriptions. Illustrated with b/w photographic plates.