PREFACE

Like its predecessors, this sixth edition of California: A History is designed to serve the general reader and students alike. Since its original publication, the work has been enjoyed by almost 100,000 persons. As in prior editions, my aim herein is to recount the state’s history from its origins to the present in a format that is engaging as well as informative.

Any history of California must do justice to the Indian peoples, the first inhabitants of the land, and then to the long eras of Spanish and Mexican colonialism, both of which shaped the past and still influence the present. The historian also must chronicle those dramatic, sometimes violent, changes that began after the American conquest of the province. Today, all who call California home face the implications of its recent population explosion.

Even in the five years since the last edition of this book appeared, enormous social and material changes have overcome the state. This new edition has been expanded to incorporate these developments, considering them in historical context and pondering their implications for the future. Likewise, those sections of the book devoted to women, the environment, ethnic unrest, crime, sports, energy, and transportation have all been expanded.

An avalanche of writing about California continues to appear, particularly concerning minority groups that are fast outgrowing that problematic label. This new scholarship is reflected in the updated chapter bibliographies. And, as always, this edition features a separate “Index of Authors” that directly links writers to books and articles. Finally, new maps, charts, and photographs are provided in this edition.

Persons who have been helpful in preparing this new edition include Professors Robert T. Smith, Judson Grenier, Gordon Morris Bakken, Martin Schiesl, Jacqueline Braitman as well as Diana Lindsay, Peter Uhrowczik, and Galal Kernahan.

A. R.

-ix-

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