Charles F. Lummis (1859 -1928) was a colorful, dynamic, and often eccentric crusader for the Spanish heritage of California. The founder and editor of Land of Sunshine—or Out West, as the magazine was known after 1902—he recruited writers such as Mary Austin, Jack London, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman to contribute short stories, poetry, articles, and essays, many of them based on Western themes. Lummis himself wrote editorials extolling the glories of Southern California, decrying racial prejudice, and calling for the preservation of California’s historic landmarks.
Bingham examines Out West from a number of angles: as a Western business enterprise, as a promotional vehicle, as an outlet and training ground for regional writers, and as an instrument of reform. His study, first published in 1955, remains an important and absorbing account of Lummis’s life and of the magazine he established.
Edwin R. Bingham is professor emeritus of history at the University of Oregon. He is the author of a biography of Charles Erskine Scott Wood and the editor of California Gold, Northwest Perspectives, American Frontier, Frontier Experience, and Fur Trade in the West.