No state has had a more dramatic, romantic and colorful history than California. Robert Cleland, of Occidental College, Los Angeles, has undertaken to tell that story, and this first volume encompasses the many faceted years of its building. Fi the explorers, -- Spanish, British, conquistadores, missionary-explorers, establishing outposts, then restlessly moving on. Next the establishment of missions -- the beginning of desert conquest, the impact of ""foreigners"", French, British, Russian; the fur trade the mountain men opening the way for the acquisitive Americans, pioneer immigrants, filibusters. Finally, conquest -- unrest -- and gold; the fantastic and unequal mushroom growth, f speculation, fantastic wealth and depression. And a new century opening new vistas. A good job, well paced, in the telling.