979.4: History of California

Items this collection will discuss the history of the state of California. In addition to discussing state history, this collection will also feature books that cover the history of notable cities/towns or places in California (ex. Silicon Valley, Ghost Towns, State/National Parks) as well as significant events (ex. the Gold Rush, Orange County Fair) that occurred in the state.

Updated July 7, 2023
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California : a history
Starr, Kevin.
Paper Book
California has always been our Shangri-la–the promised land of countless pilgrims in search of the American Dream. Now the Golden State’s premier historian, Kevin Starr, distills the entire sweep of California’s history into one splendid volume. From the age of exploration to the...


City at the edge of forever : Los Angeles reimagined
Lunenfeld, Peter
Paper Book
An engaging account of the uniquely creative spirit and bustling cultural ecology of contemporary Los Angeles How did Los Angeles start the 20th century as a dusty frontier town and end up a century later as one of the globe's supercities - with unparalleled cultural, economic,...


Dear Los Angeles : the city in diaries and letters, 1542 to 2018
Kipen, David
Paper Book
A rich mosaic of diary entries and letters from Marilyn Monroe, Cesar Chavez, Susan Sontag, Albert Einstein, and many more, this is the story of Los Angeles as told by locals, transplants, and some just passing through. "Los Angeles is refracted in all its irreducible,...


The king and queen of Malibu : the true story of the battle for paradise
Randall, David K.
Paper Book
New York Times best-selling author David K. Randall spins a remarkable tale of the American West and the desire of one couple to preserve paradise. Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu's transformation from an untamed ranch in the...


Palo Alto : a history of California, capitalism, and the world
Harris, Malcolm
Paper Book
Named One of the Year's Best Books by VULTURE * THE NEW REPUBLIC * DAZED * WIRED * BLOOMBERG * ESQUIRE * SALON * THE NEXT BIG IDEA CLUB The history of Silicon Valley, from railroads to microchips, is an "extraordinary" story of disruption and destruction, told...


Passion and principle : John and Jessie Frâemont, the couple whose power, politics, and love shaped nineteenth-century America
Denton, Sally.
Paper Book
She was the daughter of powerful Missouri politician Thomas Hart Benton and was a savvy political operator who played confidante and advisor to the inner circle of the highest political powers in the country. He was a key figure in western exploration and California's first senator, and became...


The poker bride : the first Chinese in the wild West
Corbett, Christopher.
Paper Book
When gold rush fever gripped the globe in 1849, thousands of Chinese immigrants came through San Francisco seeking fortune. In The Poker Bride, Christopher Corbett uses a little-known Idaho legend as a lens into this Chinese experience. Before 1849, the Chinese in the United States were...


Rock me on the water : 1974 : the year Los Angeles transformed movies, music, television, and politics
Brownstein, Ronald
Paper Book
New York Times Bestseller Editors' Choice --New York Times Book Review In this exceptional cultural history, Atlantic Senior Editor Ronald Brownstein--"one of America's best political journalists" (The Economist)--tells the kaleidoscopic story of...


Water to the angels : William Mulholland, his monumental aqueduct, and the rise of Los Angeles
Standiford, Les
Paper Book
The author of Last Train to Paradise tells the story of the largest public water project ever created--William Mulholland's Los Angeles aqueduct--a story of Gilded Age ambition, hubris, greed, and one determined man who's vision shaped the future and continues to impact us today. In 1907,...

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