Last week, KPFA’s Against the Grain interviewed UC Press author Daniel Martinez HoSang about California’s fiscal crisis and the false narrative that economic hardship in the state is something new. In the KPFA interview, as well as in his article, “Race and the Mythology of California’s Lost Paradise,” published in the inaugural issue of Boom, HoSang challenges the notion of a lost Golden Age by examining the history of racialized ballot measures in California.
HoSang brings in the philosophies of Joan Didion and Roland Barthes to explain the state’s profound self-mythologization, and makes surprising connections between California and the American South.
To learn more about this controversial history and the longstanding practices that denied millions of residents access to public goods and services, pick up a copy of Boom: A Journal of California, or read HoSang’s book, Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California. An excerpt is available online.