CALIFORNIA: The New Society by Remi Nadeau

CALIFORNIA: The New Society

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KIRKUS REVIEW

And while in Los Angeles, the social pages are usually careful to picture married couples, this is almost never done in the San Francisco papers. Instead, people are shown dancing cheek-to-cheek, twisting, or drinking it up... On a typical ""Woman's World"" page in the Chronicle, three out of four pictures were of mixed couples, and while the fourth showed a married pair, the caption took the curse of provincialism off the scene by explaining that they were estranged"". Now that California is the nation's largest state, how are its citizens measuring up to national leadership? That is the question Mr. Nadeau's book poses and the answer is not far from the illustration given above. He says Californians are not really interested in either the California or the National Cross Product. They are interested in recreation, early retirement, private amusement in preference to public affairs, and they don't mind their teen-agers having a laisses-faire morality. The sun worshippers and metropolites, bums, suicides and movie-stars, the preoccupation of California women with the home as an art form, the migrant workers and the millionaires, all meld into what the author terms ""the Unassociated Society"" in which the Californian achieves total identification with his environment. ""He is nothing and everything."" Forms of government are abandoned to the organizations of special interest. And yet, those Californians have produced 19 Nobel Prize winners, more than any other state. Mr. Nadeau's book is brisk, thorough and readable, with many bright asides.

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 1963
Publisher: McKay