San Diego and the Back Country. Edited by Davis Dutton. New York: Ballantine Books, 1972. A Westways Comstock Edition. 206 pages. Softbound. $1.50.
Mr. Dutton has chosen articles pertaining to the San Diego area that appeared between 1909 and 1969 in the Automobile Club of Southern California’s magazine, Westways. As is traditional in that magazine, articles are short and written for a general audience. Jerry MacMullen, who excells at the genre, is especially well-represented in this anthology. The articles are arranged according to such topics as history, the coastal area, the back country, the expositions, and of course, the “motor car.” In these days of rising prices, few will be cheered by the reprinting of Sharon Thoreau’s depression-period guide to San Diego Restaurants, which reveals that in 1938 a steak dinner at the Cafe del Rey Moro in Balboa Park cost $1.85-for two!
Anyone interested in San Diego’s past will find this enjoyable reading. The book may seem like a bargain, but it is printed on low quality paper. DJW