For much of the country, California has long been the destination of dreams, our nation’s last stop on its westward journey toward making real our visions of a better, more meaningful, more fulfilling life. The Gold Rush, the homesteaders’ trek west, the creation of the Hollywood dream factories, the Sixties counterculture, and Silicon Valley’s radical transformation of how we work, shop, communicate, socialize, and entertain ourselves all happened in California — for good or ill — making the Golden State the national “substance of things hoped for.”
Yet this fable of identity and possibility that is California has always overlooked the …
This article appears as “The Story of the San Joaquin Valley” in the April 19, 2021, print edition of National Review.
Something to Consider
If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.