Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
San Diego: Where California Began.
By James R. Mills. Fifth Edition, Revised. San Diego: San Diego Historical Society, 1985. Photographs. Maps. Drawings. 84 Pages. $4.95 Paperback.
For years the best quick and easy introduction to San Diego history has been Mills’ San Diego: Where California Began. It was written first as the January 1959 issue of the San Diego History Center Quarterly, and has been reprinted as a book. When he wrote the first edition, author James Mills was curator of the Serra Museum. He went on to the California Assembly, the California Senate (where he served nine years as President tempore) and now is back in San Diego. For this edition, Mills revised parts of the text to reflect new scholarship (the naming of local Native Americans, for example) and has added new material to bring the story to 1985. Book designer Thomas Scharf has skillfully redone the book’s layout and added new and better illustrations, maps and photographs. Where California Began remains the best short introduction to San Diego history – but now is a feast for the eye as well.
The complete text of San Diego: Where California Began is available on-line.