California is the most multicultural state in the nation. As John Mack Faragher argues in this concise and lively history, that is nothing new. California's natural variety has always supported diversity, including Native peoples speaking dozens of distinct languages, Spanish and Mexican colonists, gold seekers from all corners of the globe, and successive migrant waves from the eastern states, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
Beautifully crafted and elegantly written, Faragher tells the stories of a colorful cast of characters, some famous, others mostly unknown, including African American Archy Lee, who sued for his freedom; Sinkyone Indian woman Sally Bell, who survived genocide; and Jewish schoolgirl Marilyn Greene, who spoke up for her Japanese friends after Pearl Harbor. California's multicultural diversity often led to conflict, turmoil, and violence, but also to invention, improvisation, and a struggle for multicultural democracy.
5.5" x 8"