What does Waldies memoir tell us about this moment in California history?

1. Mark Araxs study The Dreamt Land looks at water politics and land use in California. What does Araxs study tell us about consolidation in California agriculture and the history of water use in the state? What conclusions might you draw from this study? What surprises did you find?

2. D.J. Waldies Holy Land and Mark Araxs The Dreamt Land, deal with two aspects of the California Dream. How would reconcile these visions? How do they connect? How do they differ?

3. D.J. Waldies Holy Land is a suburban memoir that examines two generations of California suburbanites in the years after the Second World War. Waldie examines both the boom in economic activity represented by the rise of the suburbs and the ways in which American life was reimagined by the new homeowners and, subsequently, their children. What does Waldies memoir tell us about this moment in California history? How does he understand the range of suburban development, the emergence of new municipalities, and the evolution of attitudes towards the suburbs over time?

Section Two

1. Many observers believe that over the last 150 years California has become a bellwether state. That is, what happens first in California eventually spreads to much of the rest of the country. Do you agree with this observation? Do you disagree? What three examples, or more, would you offer to support your argument? Please use at least two of the books to help illustrate your answer.

2. One of the theses of this class is that California, with its compressed history, rapidly consolidated wealth and power after statehood in 1850. Do you agree with this thesis? If so, why? If not, why not?

3. California is one of the most diverse places in not just the United States but the world. How would you account, from an historical perspective, for the amazing diversity in the state?