Remaking California: Reclaiming the Public Good contains a series of essays by R. Jeffrey Lustig, Dan Walters, and others (with brief comments by Gary Snyder and Kevin Starr) which describe how California got itself into its current mess and suggest how we might get out of it.
Of course with the mention of Kevin Starr, perhaps our state's greatest 20th Century chronicler (and former State Librarian) my mind turned to the wealth of material we have in our collection by this illustrious author. There's his California Dream series, one of the earliest of which is Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era.
A more recent effort is Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963. It's good to be reminded that we also have times of abundance. For a broader approach I'd recommend the book on CD California: A History.
Politics + Photography
Finally, for a book that looks as good as it reads try Over California with text by Kevin Starr and photography by Reg Morrison. We'll work our way out this mess one way or another.
History has shown we have done it before.
Joe Toschik is a Half Moon Bay librarian who has lived and worked on the Coast for about 17 years. A former Air Force meteorologist, he is still a weather nut. His hobbies include photography and walking the Coastal Trail and his favorite quote right now is as follows: "Dream no small dreams, for they have no power to move the hearts of men." --Goethe