Reviewed by Raymond Starr, San Diego State University
The Rise of Los Angeles as an American Bibliographical Center.
By Kevin Starr. Sacramento: California State Library Foundation, 1989. 37 pages. $5.95 paperbound.
Bibliophile-historian Kevin Starr, whose two volumes on California cultural history, Americans and the California Dream and Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era, are among the best ever written on the California phenomena, has drawn from his research on the forthcoming third volume in the trilogy for his talk in the Edith Coulter Lecture Series. The lecture has been printed by the California State Library Foundation, with a preface by Lawrence Clark Powell. This short piece is an account of the rise of Los Angeles as a center for books — for bookstores, libraries, publishing, and bibliographic scholarship. It is a litany of names of famous people and institutions — Jake Zeitlin, William Andrews Clark, Jr., Estelle Doheny, Ward Ritchie, the Dawson’s Book Store, and Huntington Library, for instance. Because of the San Diego connection with many of the names (Jake Zeitlin, for instance, has served as an advisor in building San Diego State University’s superb collection of rare books in the history of science; Ward Ritchie and Dawson’s bookstore have published a number of items on San Diego topics), the book will be of interest to all San Diego book people.