Carey McWilliams, whose studies of racism, of industrial and labor problems, have earned him the reputation of a fighting...

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CALIFORNIA : The Great Exception

Carey McWilliams, whose studies of racism, of industrial and labor problems, have earned him the reputation of a fighting advocate for a fair deal, here applies his talents to a study of the dynamics of his own state, California, a sort of defense of those Chambers of Commerce who claim that ""California is different"". California, says McWilliams, is going through a revolution within the states. A 45% population increase during and following the war has precipitated problems that existed during the gold rush days a hundred years ago. The crisis of growing pains is again afflicting this extraordinary state. He explores the factors evident in its hundred year state history, the differences in sectional prejudices, in industrial problems, in the high level of urbanization despite the scope of its agriculture, its land speculation as opposed to the frontier conditions of other areas. In California's agriculture there are paradoxes on every side,- in its diversity, its versatility, in its specialization, its degree of organization, and- perhaps most important of all, statewide, its mobile labor setup. Industry and agriculture are one instead of two factors in the labor problem, in the politics of the state. Another factor of differences lies in the successive movements of social protest,- Kearneyism, Johnsonism, agitation against Orientals, the Henry George movement, new forms and new types of lobbying, the absence of party discipline. The growth of industry- a war-time phenomena- has not kept abreast of the growth of population. The scientific eminence in the fields of research is another vital factor. The final chapters deal with the problems, the disadvantages of California's ""exceptionalism"",- the water problem, the ""climate without weather"", the fire hazards, the challenge to private ownership of utilities of State vs Federal controls.... One of the most interesting of state studies.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 1949

ISBN: 0520218930

Page Count: -

Publisher: A. A. Wyn

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1949