The Dream Endures

The Dream Endures : California Enters the 1940s

4.11 (45 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 512 pages
  • 166 x 244 x 39mm | 894g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 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 Judge


"Twenty-four years after his first volume appeared, Starr's enthusiasm still bubbles from virtually every page. His command of hundreds of works of fiction, buildings, pieces of art, and scores of fascinating characters, the well-known and the obscure, and the intelligence and skill with which he handles this freight train worth of material is amazing. Starr's sections on various black, Asian and Mexican Communities are enormously sensitive and moving. Social and cultural history doesn't get any better."--San Francisco Chronicle


"There is so much to learn in this fascinating cultural and social history of pre-World War II California that the enthusiastic reader will want to spend hours poring over every informed page."--Booklist


"The author combines rigorous scholarship with colloquial literary expression to give a thorough but easily readable portrait."--Library Journal


"Kevin Starr gives Californians back their past--from science to art and from environmental awareness to an infatuation with the automobile--by remeinding them how the state evolved from a West Coast outback to the center of American civilization."--The San Diego Union-Tribune


"Stendhal described the novel as a mirror passing along the roadway, suggesting that the novelist's gift is limited by how he aims his reflecting glass. A great historian combines this relentless appetite for the world as he finds it with a plausible evaulation of its meaning. In his monumental continuing study of California, Kevin Starr belongs in the company of the best."--Herbert Gold, Los Angeles Times Book Review "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 Judge "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 Judge "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 Judge "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 Judge
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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 Dreams.
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Rating details

45 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 31% (14)
4 49% (22)
3 20% (9)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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