So California is slipping in oranges and movies. It's still the wealthiest state, still markets more goods than any other,...

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CALIFORNIA: The Vanishing Dream

So California is slipping in oranges and movies. It's still the wealthiest state, still markets more goods than any other, is still the nation's ""trend-setter"" -- the student revolt at Berkeley, the Lunatic Right, hippies, group sex, ""world champion"" of science and technology (only other contenders are Cambridge, Mass. and Adademogorodok in the USSR), leisure wear clothes, eating salad separately from the main dish (?), all-night supermarkets, mobile home parks, political independence, social mobility, grape strikes, drive-in worship, you name it and California had it first. There is a price, however -- rootlessness, smog, a ""crisis in values,"" Watts, unrest, hollow materialism, Charles Manson (""another fragment of evidence of the dislocation of Californian society""), The Vanishing Dream. This is a very personal, very unexceptional, almost always naive, hopelessly cluttered tour of the California personality. Davis wanders around, visiting perhaps a museum or a political rally, interviewing people like Max Rafferty, Cesar Chavez, Ronald Reagan (""an ordinary guy....never campaigns against blacks as such"") and Berkeley biology professor Gunther Stent. At the end, David concludes that the people in the state have ""run out of steam,"" and drifts off into a Tocqueville quotation. The author seems quite young, quite unlike the young men and women who produced the lucid California land use study below (see Fellmeth & Others).

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972