4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Have you ever wondered just how various states developed into their modern form? Part of the United States of America, yet with sufficient individualistic characteristics to nearly be its own self-sustaining country, California is rich in fertile land. Modern California provides food for much of the world, loudly proclaims diversity, and sets many precedents for the rest of the country. In order to truly understand California, one must delve deep into history to discover what behind this unique west coast state.
Ronald Genini has written a lengthy book that explains how a rich section of land inhabited by Native Americans quickly became a favored land of legends and at last a settled country. California: On the Edge of American History is filled with legends, first-hand testimonies, historical documents, and copious records. Genini's book doesn't stop with ancient history, however. He goes on to discuss modern events through 2015, at which time I assume the book was first published.
Tales of Cortez and his famous search for El Dorado (City of Gold), Spanish missions, Indian massacres, entrepreneurs, Russians, love stories, conquistadors, and more fill the pages of this book. Written in an easy to understand style, my biggest complaint is the length. It took me half of forever to read! I understand that Genini's book is used as a textbook in some California schools, but for the average reader, you would have both love all the details and have more than a mild interest in the state in order to fully appreciate this book. It's plain that the author spent much time researching in order to so thoroughly capture the essence of each time period represented.
I did not find grammatical errors in the book, which led me to believe this has been professionally edited. The author has a mastery of language and makes use of impeccable imagery; one can nearly "experience" California history while reading. Given that this is a non-fiction book, I am pleased to note that it is well-documented throughout. Although it is nearly impossible for any historian to write without some bias, the author did a fine job of keeping bias to a minimum, which I deeply appreciated.
Again, the biggest issue with this book is the sheer length. I would suggest for easier processing, this could easily be split into a multi-volume work. Due to the impressive amount of documented facts, easy reading style and lack of errors, I rate this 4 out of 4 stars. However, I feel that it is written for a fairly selective audience rather than the general populace due to the extensive treatment of the topic.
California: On the Edge of American History
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like greenstripedgiraffe's review? Post a comment saying so!