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From the earliest Spanish explorations in the late 1500s through the present, California's history and growth have been both tumultuous and phenomenal. All the historical facts are here: the missions and the Indians, the struggles between the Mexicans and the Americans, the fabulous gold rushes, statehood in 185O, railroad wars, furious labor upheavals, the disastrous scandals and bankruptcies of the 1920s, and the recent gigantic tamperings with nature. David Lavender tells, with unusual clarity and grace, the story of a beautiful state's rise to giganticism. In an afterword to this Bison Book edition, he looks at California today.