The History Book Club discussion


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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread dedicated to the history, well known people and events associated with the great state of California.

You may add books that take place in this state, are about this state, have a scene that takes place in this state or have events where this state is mentioned.

There is no self promotion on the History Book Club.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
City of Quartz

City of Quartz Excavating the Future in Los Angeles by Mike Davis by Mike Davis Mike Davis


The hidden story of L.A. Mike Davis shows us where the city's money comes from and who controls it while also exposing the brutal ongoing struggle between L.A.'s haves and have-nots.

message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments Adobe Days

Adobe Days by Sarah Bixby Smith by Sarah Bixby Smith (no photo)


In this rollicking reminiscence Sarah Bixby Smith tells of Los Angeles when it was “a little frontier town” and “Bunker Hill Avenue was the end of the settlement, a row of scattered houses along the ridge.” She came there in 1878 at the age of seven from the San Justo Rancho in Monterey County. Sarah recalls daily life in town and at San Justo and neighboring ranches in the bygone era of the adobes. Exerting a strong pull on her imagination, as it will on the reader’s, is the story of how her family drove sheep and cattle from Illinois to the Pacific Coast in the 1850s. The daughter of a pioneering woolgrower, Sarah Bixby Smith became a leading citizen of California.

message 4: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles

Eternity Street Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles by John Mack Faragher by John Mack Faragher John Mack Faragher


Los Angeles is a city founded on blood. Once a small Mexican pueblo teeming with Californios, Indians, and Americans, all armed with Bowie knives and Colt revolvers, it was among the most murderous locales in the Californian frontier. In Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles, "a vivid, disturbing portrait of early Los Angeles" (Publishers Weekly), John Mack Faragher weaves a riveting narrative of murder and mayhem, featuring a cast of colorful characters vying for their piece of the city. These include a newspaper editor advocating for lynch laws to enact a crude manner of racial justice and a mob of Latinos preparing to ransack a county jail and murder a Texan outlaw. In this "groundbreaking" (True West) look at American history, Faragher shows us how the City of Angels went from a lawless outpost to the sprawling metropolis it is today.

message 5: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments Bodie's Gold

Bodie's Gold Tall Tales and True History from a California Mining Town by Marguerite Sprague by Marguerite Sprague (no photo)


"The Bodie Mining District was established in 1860 after the discovery of gold deposits in the area. The boom ended just twenty years later, and the town began its long, slow decline, surviving into the twentieth century as a village supported by a few small but steady mines. Mining ended with World War II, and what remained of the town became a state park in 1964." In Bodie's Gold, author Marguerite Sprague uses a wide range of original sources to recount Bodie's colorful history: its mines and miners; demimonde of saloons and brothels; schools, churches, and other institutions of settled life; residents of many origins, including Native Americans and Chinese; women in the town's social life and economy; and the pattern of its decline. The story is illustrated with period photographs and enlivened with the reminiscences of former residents and extracts from newspapers of the period. Bodie's Gold is a vivid account of the life that once throbbed behind the now-closed doors and empty streets of California's official Gold Rush ghost town.

message 6: by Michele (last edited Sep 18, 2020 12:52PM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments Discovery Of The Yosemite And The Indian War Of 1851 Which Led To That Event

Discovery Of The Yosemite And The Indian War Of 1851 Which Led To That Event by Lafayette Houghton Bunnell by Lafayette Houghton Bunnell (no photo)


This reprint of the single most important original source regarding the early history of Yosemite Valley was long out of print. Written by the medical officer of the Mariposa Battalion, the first group of Euro-Americans ever to enter Yosemite Valley, the book chronicles a number of key historical events beginning in 1851 including discovery, the Yosemite Indian conflicts, the naming of various landmarks and more. And what makes it so valuable is Dr. Bunnell's first-person perspective.

message 7: by Michele (last edited Sep 18, 2020 12:53PM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments One Hundred Years in Yosemite: The Story of a Great Park and Its Friends

One Hundred Years in Yosemite The Story of a Great Park and Its Friends by Carl P. Russell by Carl Parcher Russell (no photo)


This book about Yosemite National Park comprises the narrative text about the Park from its discovery by non-natives in the Indian War of 1851 to the mid-twentieth century. The printed book contains dozens of early photographs and drawings, as well as an extensive timeline and bibliography, which are not here recorded. The author (1894-1967) was an ecologist, historian, and administrator. He was an officer of the U.S. National Park Service for thirty four years, serving as the Chief Naturalist of Yosemite from 1923-1929 and later as Park Superintendent.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Good job Michele and thank you for your adds. We love for folks to add to the threads.

message 9: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault

Earthquake Storms The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault by John Dvorak by John Dvorak (no photo)


It is a prominent geological feature that is almost impossible to see unless you know where to look. Hundreds of thousands of people drive across it every day. The San Andreas Fault is everywhere, and primed for a colossal quake. For decades, scientists have warned that such a sudden shifting of the Earth’s crust is inevitable. In fact, it is a geologic necessity.

The San Andreas fault runs almost the entire length of California, from the redwood forest to the east edge of the Salton Sea. Along the way, it passes through two of the largest urban areas of the country—San Francisco and Los Angeles. Dozens of major highways and interstates cross it. Scores of housing developments have been planted over it. The words “San Andreas” are so familiar today that they have become synonymous with earthquake.

Yet, few people understand the San Andreas or the network of subsidiary faults it has spawned. Some run through Hollywood, others through Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. The Hayward fault slices the football stadium at the University of California in half. Even among scientists, few appreciate that the San Andreas fault is a transient, evolving system that, as seen today, is younger than the Grand Canyon and key to our understanding of earthquakes worldwide.

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Great add Michele - keep them coming. You have the mod format down too.

message 11: by Michele (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments The Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape

The Visionary State A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape by Erik Davis by Erik Davis (no photo)


With a rich cultural history and Hollywood stars publicly attesting to a wide range of faiths, it's no surprise that California's spiritual landscape is as diverse as its natural surroundings. The Visionary State weaves text and image into a compelling narrative of religion, architecture, and consciousness in California, from neopaganism to televangelism, UFO cults to austere Zen Buddhism. Acclaimed culture critic Erik Davis brings together the immigrant and homegrown religious influences that have been part of the region's character from its earliest days, drawing connections between seemingly unlike traditions and celebrating the diversity of California's spiritual composition. Michael Rauner's evocative photographs depict the sites and structures where these traditions have taken root and flourished. The Visionary State is a landmark look at what is likely the most varied locale for religious activity anywhere

message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Michele - keep up the good work with the postings.

message 13: by Michele (last edited Nov 19, 2020 06:11PM) (new)

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1056 comments The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles

The Mirage Factory Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles by Gary Krist by Gary Krist (no photo)


Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California--bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges--seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world's iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles' meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, an immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer, designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, gave L.A. its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cemented the city's identity as a center for spiritual exploration.

All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists, of a kind. The images they conjured up--of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun--were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained.

Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination.

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Michele for the add.

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