The Dream Endures

The Dream Endures : California Enters the 1940s

4.09 (41 ratings by Goodreads)
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What we now call "the good life" first appeared in California during the 1930s. In The Dream Endures, Kevin Starr shows how the good life prospered in California - in pursuits such as film, fiction, leisure, and architecture - and helped to define American culture and society then and for years to come. The 1930s were the heyday of the Hollywood studios, and Starr brilliantly captures Hollywood films and the society that surrounded the studios. Starr offers an astute discussion of the European refugees who arrived in Hollywood during the period: prominent European film actors and artists and the creative refugees who were drawn to Hollywood and Southern California in these years - Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Man Ray, Bertolt Brecht, Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann, and Franz Werfel. Starr gives a fascinating account of how many of them attempted to recreate their European world in California and how others, like Samuel Goldwyn, provided stories and dreams for their adopted nation. Starr reserves his greatest attention and most memorable writing for San Francisco. For Starr, despite the city's beauty and commercial importance, San Francisco's most important achievement was the sense of well-being it conferred on its citizens. It was a city that "magically belonged to everyone." Whether discussing photographers like Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, "hardboiled fiction" writers, or the new breed of female star - Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, and the improbable Mae West - The Dream Endures is a brilliant social and cultural more

Product details

  • Hardback | 512 pages
  • 162.8 x 243.1 x 39.6mm | 861.84g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 16 pp halftones
  • 0195100794
  • 9780195100792

Review quote

"A penetrating addition to an altogether splendid series, which (thanks to the broad appeal of its subject matter and period) could prove a breakout book."--Kirkus"In this, more than any other of Starr's monumental California histories, we see the stirrings of uniqueness in the social and cultural evolution of California. Starr's theme is relevant to all of America and the national destiny."--Neil Morgan, Associate Editor, San Diego Union-Tribune, author of Westward Tilt"Kevin Starr carries his enduring epic of California cultural history into the 1940s with the same eye for exact detail, the same passion for facts, and the same pungency of expression that have characterized his accounts of the preceding stages of California's evolution."--John T. Noonan, Jr. United States Circuit Judgeshow more

About Kevin Starr

Kevin Starr is State Librarian of California, Chairman of the State of California Sesquicentennial Commission, contributing editor of The Los Angeles Times, and a member of the faculty at the University of Southern California. He is the author of a number of books, including Americans and the California Dream, Inventing the Dream, Material Dreams, and Endangered more

Rating details

41 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 29% (12)
4 51% (21)
3 20% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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