David J. Weber, Book Review Editor
California Heritage: An Anthology Of History and Literature. By John and LeRee Caughey. Itasca, Illinois: F. E. Peacock Publishers, rev. ed. 1971. Bibliography. Illustrations. Index of Authors. XIV and 556 pages. $6.50 in paper. $10.00 clothbound.
When it first appeared in 1962, the Caugheys’ anthology received plaudits for the variety of its contents: Poetry, fiction, scholarly interpretations, and on-the-spot reporting from figures as diverse as Cabrillo and Ginsberg. The anthology also received praise for the quality and originality of its offerings, reflecting as it did the Caugheys’ good taste and lengthy acquaintance with California and its literature. This new edition of California Heritage retains most of the original selections and adds a substantial number of new ones to bring it up to date. The familiar issues of recent years are all there: Urban growth, ecology, freeways, landslides, Watts, the grape strike, police brutality, and student protest. Caughey concludes this new edition with his own essay, “Our Way of Life May be the Death of Us,” putting our present malaise in historical perspective. For those who enjoy history as romance, as escape, or as a source of tall tales, these will still be found in California Heritage. Those who pursue the volume to its end, however, will be reminded that our past holds much to tell us about our present and our future.