Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
California People. By Carol Dunlap. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1982. Illustrations. Index. 234 Pages. $19.95 Paper.
California People is a handy (if greatly overpriced) reference book for a teacher or anyone dealing regularly with the California story. It is a biographical dictionary of people important to California history. The book consists of about 500 entries arranged in alphabetical order concerning individuals or families. Some of the entries are a few lines, some a whole page, with most about fifty lines long. A few include bibliographical references. The figures included range from governors and other political figures to inventors, cultural leaders, sports figures, entertainers, businessmen and many others who made a mark on California. San Diego is well represented with people from the community such as Juan Bandini, William Heath Davis, Alonzo Horton, Irving Gill, and others important to the area, such as rainmaker Charles Hatfield. Although one could always quarrel with any selection of 500 people from California’s past, the choices here seem mostly reasonable although probably too heavily weighted on entertainment figures. An index increases the usefulness of the book. The illustrations add to the interest in the figures.