This seems so completely the book on California that it is hard to imagine another general book over measuring up to it. Everything is there -- the historical background, first in a ""stream of history"" chapter, then -- specifically, throughout the text, as the history and the place seem inextricably interwoven; the biographical element, again made part and parcel of the settings; the spirit and drama and beauty and glamour and bigness of the state; the special quality of this aspect and that; the literary figures that have helped immortalize her; the very human phases, intimate peeks into famous dishes, restaurants, and so on (though specific advice on hotels and restaurants is deliberately omitted as ""dating"" the book); scientific facts about the birds and flowers, the trees and wonders of nature. It leaves virtually no corner of the state unvisited. A book which those who know and love California and no longer live there will read with nostalgia; a book which puts new meaning into places visited and beginning to 'fade from sharpness of memory; a book which will make everyone who wants to visit California, start today; a book which prospective travelers would do well to take along as guide and friend; a book which Californians themselves should have for ready reference on hundreds of facts about their own state that they -- above all others -- should learn. It is good reading -- and a first rate job of scholarship.