The King of California

The King of California : J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire

3.97 (305 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$30.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

A rich, colorful history of California centering on the untold story of America 's biggest farmer, J. G. Boswell, who controls more than $1 billion worth of water rights and real estate in the heart of the state. J. G. Boswell is the biggest farmer in America. Over the past fifty years he has built a secret empire while thumbing his nose at nature, politicians, labor unions and every journalist who ever tried to lift the veil on the ultimate "factory in the fields. " Now eighty years old, with an almost pathological bent toward privacy, Boswell has spent the past few years confiding one of the great stories of the American West to Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman. The King of California is the previously untold account of how a Georgia slave-owning family migrated to California in the early 1920s,drained one of America 's biggest lakes in an act of incredible hubris and carved out the richest cotton empire in the world. Indeed, the sophistication of Boswell 's agricultural operation -from lab to field to gin - is unrivaled anywhere. Much more than a business story, this is a sweeping social history that details the saga of cotton growers who were chased from the South by the boll weevil and brought their black farmhands to California. It is a gripping read with cameos by a cast of famous characters, from Cecil B. DeMille to Cesar Chavez.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 40.6mm | 975.23g
  • INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1586480286
  • 9781586480288

About Mark Arax

Mark Arax is an award-winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and Rick Wartzman is the paper's business editor. Arax is the author of the critically acclaimed In My Father's Name, about his search to find his father 's killers. He lives in Fresno. Wartzman was previously with The Wall Street Journal, where for fifteen years he served in a variety of posts, including White House correspondent and founding editor of the paper's weekly California edition. He lives in Los Angeles.show more

Rating details

305 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 29% (89)
4 45% (138)
3 20% (61)
2 5% (15)
1 1% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X