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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An American genocide : the United States and the California Indian catastrophe, 1846-1873
Madley, Benjamin
The first full account of the government-sanctioned genocide of California Indians under United States rule   Winner of the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Award for History and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice ...


The associates : four capitalists who created California
Rayner, Richard
"A first-rate look at the little-known story behind the creation of America's first continental railroad... Entertaining and well written." -- Publishers Weekly One hundred forty years ago, four shopkeepers in Sacramento, California, rose to become the force behind the...


The Browns of California : the family dynasty that transformed a state and shaped a nation
Pawel, Miriam
"Miriam Pawel's fascinating book . . . illuminates the sea change in the nation's politics in the last half of the 20th century."--New York Times Book Review California Book Award Gold Medal Winner * Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize * A...


The California Gold Rush and the coming of the Civil War
Richards, Leonard L.
It has always been understood that the 1848 discovery of gold in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada influenced the battle over the admission of California to the Union. But now, in this revelatory study, award-winning historian Leonard L. Richards makes clear the links between the Gold Rush and many...


California missions & presidios : the history & beauty of the Spanish missions
Leffingwell, Randy
The missions and presidios of California are among the state's oldest structures and are the most visited historical monuments. These notable buildings are an integral part of California's history. The state's recorded history essentially began with the Spanish missions along the ambitious...


City at the edge of forever : Los Angeles reimagined
Lunenfeld, Peter
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
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,...


Ghost towns of California : your guide to the hidden history and Old West haunts of California
Varney, Philip.
 Ghost Towns of California is a guidebook to the state's best boomtowns. Once thriving, these abandoned mining camps and pioneer villages still ring with history.  Ghost town expert Philip Varney equips you with everything you need to know to explore these remnants of the...


Golden dreams : California in an age of abundance, 1950-1963
Starr, Kevin.
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 theCalifornia we...


The golden shore : California's love affair with the sea
Helvarg, David
ADenver PostBestseller ABooklistTop Literary Travel Book of the Year From the first human settlements to the latest marine explorations,The Golden Shoretells the tale of the history, culture, and changing nature of California's coasts and ocean....


Historical atlas of California : with original maps
Hayes, Derek
Using nearly five hundred historical maps and many other illustrations-from rough sketches drawn in the field to commercial maps to beautifully rendered works of art-this lavishly illustrated volume is the first to tell the story of California's past from a unique visual perspective. Covering five...


The king and queen of Malibu : the true story of the battle for paradise
Randall, David K.
Frederick and May Rindge, the unlikely couple whose love story propelled Malibu's transformation from an untamed ranch in the middle of nowhere to a paradise seeded with movie stars, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism. He was a Harvard-trained confidant of presidents;...


Palo Alto : a history of California, capitalism, and the world
Harris, Malcolm
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Welcome and necessary...illuminating and revelatory." - The New Yorker The history of Silicon Valley, from railroads to microchips, is an "extraordinary"* story of disruption and destruction, told for the first time in...


The poker bride : the first Chinese in the Wild West
Corbett, Christopher.
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...


Roadside history of California
Pittman, Ruth.
The Roadside History series charts a course to the present through carefully selected and thoroughly researched stories relating what we see today with what happened before. Through vivid anecdotes, old photographs, and maps, the Roadside History guides provide entertaining insight into the states...


Rock me on the water : 1974 : the year Los Angeles transformed movies, music, television, and politics
Brownstein, Ronald
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
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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