A Century in Sunset Country

By Wright, Rosalie Muller | Sunset, May 1998 | Go to article overview

A Century in Sunset Country


Wright, Rosalie Muller, Sunset


On behalf of the entire staff of Sunset Magazine, I am proud to offer you this, our Centennial issue. We all hope you'll agree that the year we worked on this extraordinary issue-assembling stories, photographs, and a century's worth of memorabilia-was time well spent.

Created by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1898 to encourage western migration (see page 86), Sunset now has a readership exceeding 5 million.

Because geography defines us, we wanted to celebrate the glorious landscape of the West on our cover. In keeping with our long tradition of providing readers with useful information, we chose the unifying theme of great undiscovered parks. Our assignment to photographers stressed one thing: bring back spectacular photographs that will make readers want to go there.

What makes Sunset different from any other magazine in the country is the way we "zone" covers and stories. We invented the system in 1932, primarily so that our garden advice could be more specific to our various climates. But for this issue, we decided to do something unprecedented-we're presenting a different foldout cover for each of our five editorial regions: Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Mountain, and Southwest. Each celebrates an unspoiled wilderness in that area.

Among the other special features of this issue are the magnificent photocollage of the Grand Canyon by artist David Hockney (page 84), and short essays on the Western experience by six extraordinary writers, including Ursula Le Guin, Bebe Moore Campbell, and David Mas Masumoto (page 112). …

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