An addition to the Folkways Series of regional books that will have added sales on the strength of the author's name. The text varies from most of these books in focusing largely on the past history of that part of California around San Francisco -- a recapitulation of those factors, -- human, racial, national, geographic, that contributed largely to the growth of that most fascinating and most beloved of American cities. To anyone who knows the region, the book will have nostalgic values, it will stimulate curiosity in the depicting of many little known facets of her past. To those to whom San Francisco and its environs are unknown, this will add little of the actual feel of the region though the personalities who made it come alive. Anecdotal quality (symptom of the author as novelist, perhaps?) is strong -- the book reads like a delightful collection of stories of the region, against a dramatic historical backdrop. But -- from the earthquake and fire on, the interest drops. Modern San Francisco never comes alive.