Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future, Updated with a New Preface” as Want to Read:
Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future, Updated with a New Preface
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future, Updated with a New Preface

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
For much of the past century California was the envy of the continent, not just for what nature had made but for what civil society had created: speedy freeways, well-supported schools, the world's best public university system, public works that made the desert bloom. Not any more. California's public works and social services are crumbling, and public education has ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published August 16th 2004 by University of California Press (first published 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paradise Lost, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paradise Lost

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Vheissu
Oct 20, 2010 Vheissu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rise and fall of California. Schrag confirms many of the observations made by Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary D. Edsall in their convincing book, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics. Affluent whites are perfectly happy to support public services, as long as those service are not made available to non-whites.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), but you wouldn't know it by observing contemporary America.

Chain Reaction The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics by Thomas Byrne Edsall by Thomas Byrne E
...more
Liam
Sep 12, 2012 Liam rated it really liked it
"The electorate remains what it has always been: disproportionately white and middle class, even as the consumers of public services -- school enrollment particularly -- have become predominantly Hispanic and Asian. That imbalance is probably the most salient element in California's political history of the past twenty years." (62)

"Whichever way that question is answered, the issues behind it resonate with the now-prevalent myth -- the antimyth of the 1960s, when Kerr talked about the value of r
...more
Ivy
Jun 16, 2008 Ivy added it
I am not a policy expert or legislative analyst, so I can't comment on this book's point of view, accuracy, bias, methdology. I can say that I enjoyed it immensely, and learned a lot. I had never connected so many fiscal dots from Proposition 13 to our current economic crisis. Schrag spends a lot of time discussing both the outcomes of the public initiative process the decline of California's public education, and when I say that I learned a lot, I mean that I had my heart ripped from my chest. ...more
Katherine
Jun 20, 2009 Katherine rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
"California's local governments are now run by officials who have never raised a tax and who don't understand the connection between services and taxes" (187).
"...the plebiscitary dynamic--call it the ethics of the initiative--has precious little room for spending that immediately benefits someone other than those who must vote on it. It is not prone to generosity and is rarely respectful of minority rights, much less of minority needs" (224).

diana
Dec 16, 2009 diana rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Politicos
I read an earlier edition of this book. The author was one of my favorite professors at Univ. of MI, he was visiting from UC-Davis. It's possible we got to read the book before it's publishing date. Anyways, it provides excellent insight into the California Initiative System - though I don't always agree with the author's conclusions.
Amy Wolf
Feb 05, 2013 Amy Wolf rated it really liked it
A very sobering book about Prop 13 and it's ruinous effect on California. Though long-time property owners are celebrating, the effect of holding RE tax at 1% based on the last appraised value (which could be from 1970) has led to the utter ruin of the state's infrastructure. That means crumbling -- and terrible -- schools & an underfunded, incompetent bureaucracy. Yes, I live it every day!
Julia
Sep 10, 2013 Julia rated it it was ok
Some interesting background on the rise of the ballot initiative industry and anti-tax activism in California. Elsewhere, though, there's an odd combination of sweeping generalizations and piles of anecdotes; there isn't much of a coherent argument to the book.
A-ron
Dec 16, 2009 A-ron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Essential reading for any Californian interested in the political history of their state. Equally important reading for others interested in American politics as the Californian issues covered in this book expanded in time to become National issues.
Jessica
Jessica rated it liked it
Apr 01, 2010
Paul Andersen
Paul Andersen rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2012
Allison
Allison rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2007
Megan H.
Megan H. rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2015
Seal
Seal rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2009
Gus Caravalho
Gus Caravalho rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2010
Geoffrey Kabaservice
Geoffrey Kabaservice rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2013
Angela Rose
Angela Rose rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2009
Chris Economon
Chris Economon rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2012
Bill Kyzner
Bill Kyzner rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2009
Marjory Munson
Marjory Munson rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2014
Robert Serrato
Robert Serrato rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2016
Leo
Leo rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2007
Miranda
Miranda rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2013
Rachel
Rachel rated it it was ok
Jun 24, 2008
Aaron
Aaron rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2007
K. P. Llama
K. P. Llama rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2013
Angela
Angela rated it liked it
Oct 23, 2008
Erin
Erin rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2008
Deb
Deb rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2008
Mark Paul
Mark Paul rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2010
Michael
Michael rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book