THE ISLAND OF QUEEN CALAFIA by R. L. Duffus

THE ISLAND OF QUEEN CALAFIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The queen referred to here was the ruler of a mythical land ""very near the Terrestrial Paradise"" in an early Spanish romance, and one way or another her name became attached to our presently most populous state. Mr. Duffus' loquacious and modestly entertaining book has a much broader historical base and a less sharply focused intent than Raymond F. Dasmann's The Destruction of California (p. 556 - 1965), but it does contain the same fundamental conviction: that ""the extraordinary increase in population... cannot indefinitely continue without unhappy results."" Mr. Dasmann's volume puts forth much the stronger case, together with definite proposals, but does not attempt to supply all the detail on people and events which are to be found here. Mr. Duffus' overall approach is mildly debunking, and his treatment of issues, past and present, is mainly once-over-lightly; but this is merely to say that his work is as effortlessly instructive as he meant it to be, and that his various critical remarks are all the more persuasive in their judicious tone and relative scarcity. A genuine affection for the subject has been combined here with a coolly professional command of it, and the results are undeniably pleasing.

Publisher: Norton