Magazine November 23, 2009, Issue

Tarnished State

A home for sale sign within view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif., June 30, 2009. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters)
But California can shine again

When traveling far from California, I, like many residents of the state, still have a bad habit of marking off the days until I can return home. Even in its current mess, the weather, the optimism of the people, and the natural beauty are addictive.

Some of the attraction is based on nostalgia. Forty years ago I used to sit on my grandfather’s porch after the end of the raisin harvest and hear the septuagenarian go on about the wonders of the state. He was of the third successive generation to be born in the farmhouse south of Fresno (where my

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


China Alone?

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, by Martin Jacques (Penguin, 576 pp., $29.95)
Film & TV

Dark and Wild

This is a film about childhood that can be appreciated by pretentious, nitpicky grown-ups, it will find its fiercest fans among the Maxes of the world




‘Would it not be easier,” wrote Bertolt Brecht after the East German uprising in 1953, “for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?”