I’ve had this book on my shelf for maybe a year now — it’s part of the Modern Library Chronicles series, which I’ve really enjoyed, and written by Kevin Starr, the preeminent California historian. I’ve always been really interested in California history — it seems like such a metaphor for the American experience — but have been a little bit intimidated by Starr’s exceptionally thorough treatments of particular decades (they’re super-long).
This book, as you might guess, is probably a little thinner than it should be for the subject — in only 300 pages, it’s tough to tell a reasonable history of a very large state. I found it interesting enough — and liked his tours through Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and our water-oriented history. But probably wouldn’t recommend, unless you’re interested in California, but only enough to read a too quick summary.