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The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California
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The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
What would happen to California, and to the rest of the world, if "the Big One" hit? Told from the point of view of a historian writing two years after an earthquake has totally destroyed California. Most of the book is an insider's-eye view of California politics in the 1950s and 1960s.
Paperback, 401 pages
Published June 20th 1977 by Comstock Editions Inc (first published 1968)
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Oct 10, 2010 Monty rated it really liked it
I grew up in CA and was in my 20s in the 1960s, so I really enjoyed the CA history this author details in the this book about the demise of CA in 1969 by a 9 Richter scale earthquake. The first 300 pages are history and non-fiction, including: Governor Pat Brown's administration; the political campaign between Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan; the Watts riots; the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley; conservative enclaves such as Orange County; Cezar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union; saving the ...more
Michelle Schingler
Jun 19, 2013 Michelle Schingler rated it really liked it
What would the world be without California? The second portion of the book, about its latter quarter, attempts to answer this question by exploring contemporary Californian contributions, covering exports and technological advances. The bulk of the work, though, is a perspective-driven history of the state which focuses on the sixties in particular. I learned tons from this book (including, I must say, not to gild Reagan's reputation), and would recommend it as a supplement for, say, the Kevin S ...more
Amy Case
Dec 21, 2013 Amy Case rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorites, an allegorical history of California (as goes California, so goes the nation). Why oh why can't this be in print again, and required reading in all US history/civics classes?
Mar 07, 2010 Katrina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
This book is interesting in an odd way. Written in 1968, it purports to have been written in 1972, approximately three years after the Great Quake that Wrecked California. The first three chapters in the book, California North, Central Valley, and California South, actually cover the history of the 1966 gubernatorial election between Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan as well as other tidbits of the "California Experience". I found some things I didn't know about the history of that election as well as ...more
Steven Schindler
Jan 08, 2016 Steven Schindler rated it it was amazing
A lot of information about the state. Read it many years ago when living there and never forgot it.
Must read for every Californian, native or otherwise. Some information is outdated, of course, but still a great read.
Oct 14, 2008 Hannah added it
Basic premise: California has perished in some sort of seismic cataclysm. Let us review what we knew of California! A combination of Twain-ish weirdo history, occasionally boring electoral politics (look, I know I should be way more interested in how Ronald Reagan got elected governor, but I'm just not), and apocalyptic novel. Very much appealed to the occasional California chauvinist in me, though I had to hold my nose through the inclusion of "freedom for gay people" on lists of the late great ...more
Mar 20, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing
Read this book, then look again at the publishing date and you will say, "How could this have been written in 1969?" Curt Gentry(view spoiler)
This book was written in 1971 and in the form of a documentary. Its really a love story about California but its fascinating to read about the actual rise of California and its fictional demise to a horrible earthquake. A great, quick and interesting read.
Jul 27, 2012 Judity rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Because I've lived in California since the 1960s, I find this book fun to read, but slightly outdated. So much has happened to the state since this book was written that a sequel might be needed.

Antoinette Maria
Oct 13, 2007 Antoinette Maria rated it it was ok
Did not live up to the potential of its title. It was going for a satirical political commentary, but it doesn't push hard enough to be very successful either as a satire or a political commentary.
Jan 24, 2013 Marie marked it as to-read
I saw this in the Bookworm, but didn't pick it up and rather regret that. I'd like to see an updated edition, though.
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Curt Gentry is an American writer. He is best known for co-writing the book Helter Skelter with Vincent Bugliosi (1974), which detailed the Charles Manson murders.

Frame-Up was a nominee for the 1968 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime book.

Helter Skelter won a 1975 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime book.

J.Edgar Hoover won the 1992
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