This work is intended as a useful companion for anybody interested in general or basic knowledge about any aspect of the most populous state in the Union. It is designed to be serviceable to a wide variety of readers and consultants, whose range might include residents and tourists, high-school and college students, as well as scholars seeking a ready reference. At present no single volume comprehends such a scope as this one and although it treats its subjects briefly, many an entry also includes data not found elsewhere in a single place. Reference to hundreds of books and articles would be required to provide the information that is here between the two covers.
James D. Hart, long a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is Director of The Bancroft Library, the rare books and western Americana collection of the campus. His publications include The Oxford Companion to American Literature and The Popular Book: A History of America's Literary Taste.
"A perfectly marvelous book, both for reference and to read. My copy is full of little bookmarks" -Joan Didion
"Comprehensive, well done, and interesting. I wish I had such a book when I was Governor, it would have saved me a tremendous amount of time." - Edmund G. (Pat) Brown
"I found it fascinating . . . a pleasant nostalgia trip and a valuable reference work." -Gregory Peck
"I am deeply impressed with A Companion to California. . . . Dr. Hart has created a work of great clarity and interest, highly informative well designed, and a delight to read." -Ansel Adams
"A Companion to California is a reference book I've been looking for all my life without knowing it. It will be my companion from now on--never more than arm's length from my typewriter." -Herb Caen